DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. appointed Mark Fields, president of the Americas unit, as COO, putting him in line to succeed Alan Mulally when he retires no sooner than the end of 2014.
Ford also promoted European CEO Stephen Odell to president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. Under Odell, Africa will be realigned with Europe and the Middle East.
Ford said Joe Hinrichs, currently group vice president and head of Asia Pacific Africa, will succeed Fields. Hinrichs is currently president of the Asia Pacific Africa region.
Jim Farley, 50, becomes executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service as well as Lincoln. Farley, currently a group vice president, adds operating responsibility as the senior global leader for Lincoln.
David Schoch becomes president of Asia Pacific. He is currently chairman and CEO of Ford of China. John Lawler becomes chairman and CEO of the China unit. He is currently CFO of Ford Asia Pacific Africa.
The changes take effect Dec. 1.
Ford's North American operations have delivered record profits this year while the automaker is losing money overseas. The automaker's operating profit in South America fell 91 percent in the year's first nine months to $68 million, as heavy price discounting, weakening currencies and changes in government policies ate into earnings. Ford is losing money in Asia, where it's spending $4.9 billion to expand in China. The automaker projects more than $1.5 billion in European losses this year and again next year.