In latest leadership shakeup, Ford announces new head of design

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. said Monday that its global design lead will retire, to be replaced by an automotive industry veteran who most recently worked for French automaker Groupe Renault SA.

Moray Callum, whom the Blue Oval described in a news release as one of the industry's "most influential design leaders," will retire as the company's vice president of design for Ford and Lincoln effective May 1, capping a 38-year career in product development. Anthony Lo, most recently vice president of exterior design for Renault, will start at Ford April 1.

Moray Callum, retiring Ford Motor Co. designer

The changeover is just the latest in a series of senior-level staffing shakeups since CEO Jim Farley took over Oct. 1. In the last few months, the automaker has announced a new sales leader for the U.S. and Canada, the replacement of its chief financial officer, and retirements of its chief information officer, president of its international markets group, and chief manufacturing and labor affairs officer, among other changes.

The moves come amid an effort to fix the Blue Oval's automotive operations by improving quality, reducing costs and speeding the transformation of under-performing parts of the business. It also comes during a key transition period for the automaker's lineup, as Ford launches a redesigned F-150 pickup, the new Bronco and Bronco Sport SUVs, and the electric Mustang Mach-E.

Callum and his team were involved in designing all of those new introductions. Some of Callum's most notable designs throughout his career include the 1999 Super Duty, 2011 Explorer, 2005 Mazda MX-5, 2007 Mazda CX-7, 2015 Mustang and F-150, and 2016 GT, according to Ford.

Between two separate tenures with Ford, Callum's career at the Blue Oval spanned two decades. His first connection to the company dates to the late 1980s, when he guided development of concept vehicles — including the Ford Ghia Via — as a consultant designer at Ghia SpA in Italy.

He joined the Blue Oval in 1995, when Ford had a partnership with and ownership interest in Mazda Motor Corp. Callum, who is originally from Scotland, worked for Mazda in Japan for five years. He returned to Ford in 2006 as executive director of design for the Americas. He was promoted to his current role in 2014.

Callum previously worked for Chrysler in the United Kingdom and for PSA Peugeot Citroën in France.

"Moray's influence is seen on streets around the globe," Ford's chief product platform and operations officer, Hau Thai-Tang, said in a statement. "He brought and sustained a design vision and leadership to studios — including Ghia in Italy and Mazda in Japan, in addition to Ford and Lincoln — that has elevated the beauty, meaning and function of cars, trucks and SUVs for millions of customers."

Anthony Lo, vice president, Design

Lo will report to Thai-Tang. He described Lo as a "world-class design leader with an exemplary global track record" and said the Blue Oval is "excited" to have Lo on board as the automaker "accelerate[s] the creation of connected, intelligent and increasingly electrified products."

Lo's start in the auto industry came in the late 1980s. He started out at Lotus Cars in England, where the designed the Lotus Carlton — at the time, the world's fastest car of its type, according to Ford.

Originally from Hong Kong, Lo has a master’s degree in automotive design from the Royal College of Art in London as well as what's known as a higher diploma in industrial design from Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Lo previously worked for Mercedes-Benz in Japan and Audi in Germany. He joined Saab in 2000. He went on to serve as director of advanced design for General Motors Europe from 2004 to 2010, overseeing Saab, Opel and Vauxhall projects.

Lo was "instrumental" in developing Renault's "cycle of life" design strategy, which was used to design numerous award-winning concept cars as well as in Renault's all-new global lineup of cars and SUVs, according to Ford. 

"With the speed of evolving technologies and expectations, I believe cars will change more in the next decade than they have in the last century,” Lo said in a statement.  “Leading this change at Ford is a dream job for any car designer, and we’re going to embrace this era with open minds, ingenuity and breakthrough design solutions.”

Twitter: @JGrzelewski