DETROIT -- Tony Brown, Ford Motor Co.'s purchasing chief, is splitting duties of his top two lieutenants to provide "a single point of contact" for suppliers.
Birgit Behrendt has been appointed executive director of Ford's global programs and Americas purchasing. Burt Jordan has been named executive director of global vehicle and powertrain purchasing. Both report directly to Brown; their assignments took effect July 1.
Brown, 54, said the reorganization will simplify his purchasing operation, which should be a plus for suppliers.
"It will be easier for suppliers to communicate with us because it will be clearer who is responsible for what," Brown told Automotive News. Suppliers, he said, "will have a single point of contact."
The reorganization precedes the Oct. 1 retirement of Paul Stokes, 62, who had headed vehicle components and Americas purchasing. Stokes is highly regarded among suppliers for his efforts to upgrade Ford's purchasing.
Behrendt, 50, will work with Ford's product development teams to ensure they are meeting their program targets. She also will coordinate suppliers that are working with Ford's product developers on future powertrains and future vehicles. Previously, those two tasks had been split.
For any vehicle under development, Behrendt will help Ford develop a preliminary sourcing strategy, identify tooling requirements and work with suppliers during pre-production and vehicle launch. In short, Behrendt is the purchasing operation's future product czar.