Ford of Britain has announced two new executive appointments to head the organisation's sales and marketing teams. The Ford of Britain reorganisation follows rumours of internal discontent over Ford's performance in Britain in recent years.

Steve Hood, 40, has been appointed director of marketing, succeeding Peter Fleet, and Morten Hannesbo, 41, becomes director sales, replacing Paul Van der Burgh.

Steve Hood, who has worked for Ford in a variety of brand, strategy, finance, marketing and field functions since 1985, was latterly director dealer operations for Ford of Britain.

"I'm tremendously excited," he said. "The marketing team has done a great job sustaining the Ford brand in its leading position today, and our challenge now is to build on that success with the full potential of the exciting new products just around the corner."  Steve Hood, a keen mountain biker, is married with three children. 

Morten Hannesbo joined Ford in Spring 2000 and while based at Dunton, Essex, was responsible for the successful launch of the new Ford Fiesta across Europe. He has held senior sales and marketing positions at a number of car manufacturers in Europe as well as his native Denmark, and joins Ford of Britain from Ford of France where he was director of strategy and operations.

Managing director of Ford of Britain, Paul Thomas, paid tribute to the contribution of the outgoing directors.  "As well as being Ford's biggest market outside the US, this is probably the very toughest, " he said.  "Paul and Peter should be very proud of their achievements in this market. Without their successes we would not have been able to sustain our leading position, and would not be looking to the future with so much confidence."

Peter Fleet, 36, moves to Ford of Europe to become director sales, service and distribution for commercial vehicles across all Ford's European markets. Paul Van der Burgh has elected to pursue a business opportunity outside Ford, and has decided to leave the company.