Ford of Europe has announced leadership changes which it says are designed to accelerate the company’s “transformation efforts” and create a more agile organisation. Ford loses money in Europe and the company is coming under pressure to improve its bottom line performance in the region. 

The company said the organisational changes support Ford’s ‘Sprint to 6 Reset & Redesign’ plan in Europe to achieve a 6 percent EBIT margin, with a view to investing only in those vehicles, services and segments that ‘best support a long-term, sustainably profitable business’.

The leadership changes include new senior roles in the UK and Germany where Ford is appointing dedicated leaders to ‘work with key stakeholders to guide its transformation’.

Gunnar Herrmann is named executive director, Business Transformation, Ford of Germany, leading the implementation of Ford’s Sprint to 6 Reset & Redesign plan in Germany, reporting to Ford Europe chief executive Steven Armstrong. This complements Herrmann’s existing role as chairman, Ford-Werke GmbH.

At the same time, Graham Hoare is appointed executive director, Business Transformation, Ford of Britain, leading the Sprint to 6 Reset & Redesign transition of Ford’s business in the UK, also reporting to Armstrong.

“Gunnar and Graham bring vast expertise to their new roles leading our reset and redesign plan in their respective countries,” said Steve Armstrong. “Working closely with the rest of the European leadership team, they will play a key role in creating a long-term sustainably profitable business for the benefit of our customers, employees, partners and communities.”

Ford said that as the latest step in the company’s restructuring of its global salaried workforce, these organisational changes also aim to increase spans of control, speed decision-making and reduce bureaucracy.

Hoare’s responsibilities as director, Global Vehicle Evaluation and Verification, Ford of Europe, will be assumed by Andrew Brumley, chief engineer, Vehicle Evaluation and Verification, Ford of Europe.

Herrmann’s responsibilities leading the Quality skill team will be assumed by Lee Walker, who is named director, Quality, Ford of Europe. Quality now will report through to Caspar Dirk Hohage, who picks up responsibility for this skill team in addition to his existing responsibilities as vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering.

At the same time, Kevin Reynolds, executive director, Strategy, Ford of Europe, is electing to retire after more than four decades with the company, effective Dec. 31, 2018.

“Kevin has been central to driving the strategy of a number of key projects and changes we have implemented in our business in the past decade, including the spin-off of Jaguar Land Rover and the creation of some of our most successful joint ventures,” said Armstrong. “We thank Kevin for his leadership during his more than 40 years at Ford, and we wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Reynolds’ replacement leading the Strategy skill team will be the subject of a future announcement. Strategy will report through to Will Periam, in addition to his existing responsibilities as chief financial officer and vice president, Finance.