BRUSSELS - Ford of Europe is making a comeback.
The company has reversed its Ford 2000 globalization strategy in Europe by appointing a locally based chief executive to face up to financial losses. The job had disappeared two years ago.
Jim Donaldson takes over as president of Ford of Europe on 1 January. The 54-year-old Scot will head a management team handling day-to-day decisions.
Henry Wallace, president of Mazda, was named chief financial officer and head of European strategic planning. Wallace, 52, fills a position which has not existed in Europe for several years. He ran Mazda for 18 months, the first non-Japanese to head a Japanese carmaker.
Philippe Mellier, 42, was promoted to vice president for European sales and marketing. He succeeds Keith Magee, who will retire at 51. Magee has been the highest-ranking Ford executive in Europe as chairman of the European Business Management Committee.
Ford of Europe was effectively dismantled in 1995. A year later, the chairman's post was rolled into the top job at Ford Automotive Operations, now held by Jacques Nasser.
Nasser said earlier this year that he spent about 25 percent of his time on European affairs.
Ford spokesman Don Hume called the changes a 'process of refinement' of Ford 2000, 'not a statement of failure.'
Ford last year moved its chief purchasing officer for Europe back from Dearborn, where the job had gone under Ford 2000.
The new top jobs are split between the UK and Germany in an effort to bring the two operations closer together. Wallace will be based in Brentwood, UK. Donaldson, based in Cologne, will also chair Ford Werke, the German subsidiary. Earlier, current Ford Werke Chairman William Boddie had been named vice president of the small and medium vehicle center VC1 to replace Richard Parry-Jones, who moved to the USA to head global product development.
Ingvar Sviggum, head of sales and marketing at Ford Werke, moves to the UK as director of European sales operations, Mellier's former job.