Ford Motor named Russian market veteran Mark Ovenden as the new CEO of its joint venture in the country, Ford Sollers. Ovenden's task will be to turn around the automaker's troubled Russian operations that have been hit by the country's industrywide slump.
Ovenden, currently head of Ford's UK operations, ran the company’s operations in Russia from 2008 to 2011. He will start his new role on July 1, Ford said in a statement.
Ford sales in Russia plunged 66 percent to 7,850 vehicles through April in an overall market that fell by 38 percent to 829,046 units, according to data from the Moscow-based Association of European Businesses.
Ford has abandoned its goal of returning its European operations to profit this year because of the Russian market turmoil. In April, Ford said it will take control of its joint venture with Sollers by acquiring a majority voting share and provide it with additional financial support.
Ovenden, 51, replaces Ted Cannes, who will return to the U.S. after four years in charge of the automaker's Russian operations. Cannes, 48, started his Ford career as a profit analyst and will now become executive director at Ford's investor relations offices in Dearborn.
Ford said Andy Barratt, 52, will replace Ovenden as chairman of Ford of Britain. He is currently the unit's head of sales.