Ford continues management shuffle under new CEO

Ian Thibodeau
The Detroit News

Dearborn — Ford Motor Co. announced Thursday a second round of executive reorganizations, which includes moving former head of product development Raj Nair to executive vice president and president of North America, and naming a new vice president to oversee autonomous vehicles and electrification.

Raj Nair, Ford Group Vice President Product Development

The assignments support new President and CEO Jim Hackett’s vision for the company, including changes to the company’s product development team. Ford leadership is focused on sharpening operations, modernizing business practices and transforming the automaker to compete in the future.

“The leadership changes we are announcing today across our global business are important as we foster even greater teamwork, accountability and nimble decision-making,” Hackett said in a statement. “I am excited to work together with (Executive Chairman) Bill Ford and such a talented and diverse group of leaders to create a more vibrant Ford that delivers value for all of our stakeholders.”

Hau Thai-Tang

Raj Nair, previously executive vice president of product development and chief technical officer, will succeed Joe Hinrichs as executive vice president and president of North America. Hinrichs formerly was executive vice president and president of global operations.

Nair will report to Jim Farley, who Ford announced earlier this week will head global markets for the company. Farley had been head of Ford Europe, Middle East and Africa since January 2015.

Filling Nair’s old position is Hau Thai-Tang. That’s a promotion for the executive who will report to Hinrichs under global operations as executive vice president of product development and purchasing. The role expands Thai-Tang’s work.

Sherif Marakby

Sherif Marakby will return to Ford to fill a newly created position as vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification. Marakby had been with Ford for 25 years in leadership positions in product development around the world, before he left to work as vice president of global vehicle programs for Uber Technolgies Inc. He reports to Farley.

Also reporting to Farley under the global markets area:

■Peter Fleet, formerly vice president of marketing, sales and service in Ford’s Asia Pacific operations, will replace Dave Schoch, who is retiring as group vice president and president of Asia Pacific. Fleet will lead all Ford’s operations in China, including Lincoln and Ford’s Chinese joint ventures.

■Mark Ovenden will fill Fleet’s vacated position in Asia Pacific.

■Former Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Ford of Europe Steven Armstrong will replace Farley as group vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Under Marcy Klevorn, the new executive vice president and president of mobility operations, new appointments include:

■Neil Schloss, vice president and chief financial officer of mobility. He previously was vice president and treasurer for Ford, and CFO of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, which Hackett helmed prior to being named CEO.

■Jeff Lemmer, new vice president and chief operating officer of information technology.

Ford awarded Nair, Farley, Klevorn and Thai-Tang one-time bonuses on May 15. The bonuses in the form of long-term stock options for Nair and Farley were each worth nearly $5 million at market close on May 15. Klevorn’s award was worth nearly $2 million; Thai-Tang’s award was worth nearly $4 million. Hinrichs on Tuesday was awarded a time-based restricted stock unit grant worth $5 million.

Ford has also appointed Bradley Gayton to group vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel. He’ll lead litigation, tax, corporate and intellectual property dealings. He’s also responsible for the company’s real estate arm, Ford Land, and corporate services. He reports to Hackett.

Ken Washington, formerly vice president of research and advanced engineering, has been appointed vice president of research and advanced engineering and chief technology officer.

And Kenneth R. Kent will succeed Schloss as vice president and treasurer.

Ford on Monday announced a management shake-up, which included the ousting of former CEO Mark Fields. In his place, Hackett will work with Bill Ford to re-energize the business and drive the company’s innovations and expansions forward more aggressively than Fields did.

Hackett will receive an annual salary of $1.8 million and an accession bonus of $1 million, the Dearborn automaker said in a Wednesday regulatory filing. And with other incentive- and performance-based pay and stock, Hackett could receive as much as $13.4 million in 2017 as CEO, though it’s possible the compensation could actually be higher based on any other stock awards he received earlier this year.

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau