Ford has named Barb Samardzich, currently head of global product programmes, to head product development at Ford of Europe. 

Samardzich, 52, will oversee all product development activities in the European region and report to Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO at Ford of Europe and Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of global product development.

“Barb’s leadership, extensive engineering background and previous experience in Europe will be critical in leading the product development team in this period of growth as we launch at least 20 new or significantly freshened vehicles between 2011 and 2013,” said Odell in a statement.

Samardzich will continue to head global vehicle engineering, NVH, and global vehicle evaluation and verification teams which have reported to her since January.

Samardzich replaces Frank Davis, who recently took on a new North American post.