Ford Motor has announced a number of changes to its senior leadership team in Europe.
Barb Samardzich, vice president and chief operating officer, Ford of Europe, has elected to retire Oct. 1 after more than 26 years with the company. Samardzich, 57, has served in several leadership positions at Ford in the U.S. and Europe.
"With these changes to our leadership team, we are well positioned to build momentum and continue to create a vibrant and sustainably profitable Ford business in Europe," said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Succeeding Samardzich will be Steven Armstrong, 52, who is named vice president and chief operating officer, Ford of Europe, effective Sept. 1. Armstrong currently is president, Ford South America, a position in which he has served since January 2014. In his new role, he will report to Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
"We are so thankful for Barb's leadership and expertise which has been critical as we continue to transform Ford of Europe into a vibrant and sustainably profitable business," Farley said. "We are fortunate to have a leader of Steven's calibre to succeed Barb and build on the progress we have made."
Succeeding Armstrong is Lyle Watters, 51, who is named vice president, Ford Motor Company and president, Ford South America, effective Aug. 1. Watters will be responsible for leading all Ford operations in South America and will report to Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president, The Americas.
Watters has been chief financial officer, Ford of Europe, and a member of the Ford Sollers board of directors since April 2012. Prior to his service in Europe, he was chief financial officer for Ford South America.
Will Periam, 49, succeeds Watters as Ford of Europe's chief financial officer, effective Aug.1. Periam is currently the Deputy General Manager of Ford Otosan – Ford's joint venture based in Turkey – a position he has held since September 2013. Prior to his time at Ford Otosan, Periam was business strategy director for Ford's Asia Pacific operations.
Replacing Periam as Deputy Manager at Ford Otosan, effective Oct. 1, is Lisa Tresigne-King, 46. Tresigne-King has been Ford's global purchasing director for chassis since July 2015. She has held a number of senior purchasing positions, including being the vice president, purchasing at Ford Sollers, Ford's Russian joint venture.
Ford also has named Greg Dawson, 42, as vice president, communications & public affairs, Ford of Europe, effective Aug. 1. Dawson replaces Mark Truby who is moving to Shanghai to become the vice president, Communications, Ford Asia Pacific. Dawson has held a number of senior public relations posts outside of the auto industry, and has been the interim global communications director decorative paints, Akzo Nobel Chemicals since Sept. 2015.