Ford has announced changes to its operations to 'further accelerate its transformation plan' ('Creating Tomorrow Together').

It said strategic organisational moves focus on 'accelerating a winning portfolio, commercial vehicles as a business and implementing customer facing digital experiences across platforms.'

Also, data and AI will play a 'pivotal role' in servicing company's brands and customers particularly in Connected Vehicles and Enterprise Connectivity organisations.

There were also personnel changes. Kumar Galhotra is named president, Americas & International Markets Group; Lisa Drake appointed chief operating officer, North America, but continues as vice president, Global Purchasing.

Ford said the reorganisation, the result of a 10-week deep dive led by Ford COO Jim Farley, is aimed at sharpening Ford's focus on product and launch execution; fully leveraging smart, connected vehicles and big data to better serve customers; improving quality and lowering costs; and creating a dedicated commercial vehicle business in the US and Canada.

"Under Jim Farley's leadership, we are empowering a talented and diverse group of leaders –from inside and outside the company – to continue to drive our transformation into a higher-growth, higher-margin business," said Ford CEO Jim Hackett.

Added Farley: "We are moving with a renewed sense of urgency to improve the fitness of the business and improve our launches, while at the same time modernizing Ford in a way that plays to our strengths. That means putting the right team of global leaders in place, streamlining the way we work, embracing the power of connectivity, data and AI, and turning our leadership in commercial vehicles into a dedicated growth business." 

Kumar Galhotra, 54, takes on an expanded role as president, Americas & International Markets Group, and continues to report to Farley. The North America, South America and International Markets Group business units will report to Galhotra. In this new role, Galhotra is responsible for the P&L of the business units including a newly established commercial vehicle business for the US and Canada. Galhotra's new organisation will drive faster enterprise-wide decision-making and further efficiencies to better serve customers and adapt to changing market conditions.

Lyle Watters, 54, takes on an expanded role as president, South America & International Markets Group, reporting to Galhotra. Mark Ovenden, 55, continues in his current role as president, International Markets Group. He will report to Watters.

Lisa Drake, 47, is named chief operating officer, North America, reporting to Galhotra. In this newly created role, Drake will bring enhanced focus to product launches, warranty cost reduction, and material cost improvements. Drake will help lead the push to return the North American business back to a 10 percent EBIT margin, Ford said. Drake continues as vice president, Global Purchasing, responsible for all category management processes and procurement functions across direct and indirect Purchasing areas, as well as supplier technical assistance.

Ted Cannis, 53, is appointed general manager, Commercial Vehicles, for the U.S. and Canada, also reporting to Galhotra. In this newly created position, Cannis will bring together dedicated resources needed to drive the Commercial Vehicle business forward. This new business aligns functional areas to deliver holistic customer solutions and optimizes operations to improve alignment with potential partners. As leaders in the commercial vehicle space, the company is accelerating its plans to create solutions that help businesses run a better business. Cannis joins Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe.

Retired Col. Gil Gur Arie, 44, joins the company from a distinguished career in the Israeli Military Intelligence Corps as chief, Global Data Insight and Analytics, reporting to Farley.

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