Mark Ovenden, head of Ford's international markets group will retire on 1 February, replaced by Dianne Craig, who presently is CEO of FordDirect, a digital marketing joint venture with Ford and Lincoln dealers.

Gary Johnson, the chief manufacturing and labour affairs officer, will also retire the same day, succeeded by John Savona, who will continue to head North America manufacturing.

On 1 January, Dave Filipe will become vice president, vehicle hardware modules, and Chuck Gray VP, vehicle embedded software and controls.

Both represent shifting responsibilities within the new operating model that CEO Jim Farley introduced in October.

Ovenden has had 35 years with Ford and retires at just 56. Most recently, he helped establish and ran IMG, improving the company's business – including demand for its leading Ranger pickup – in nearly 100 diverse markets, including Australia, India, the Middle East, South Africa and southeast Asia. Ovenden has also been president, Middle East and Africa; VP, marketing, sales and service, Asia Pacific; headed a restructuring of the joint venture company in Russia and was chairman and managing director of Ford of Britain.