DETROIT -- Ford Motor named Steven Armstrong as new chief operating officer of its European division and expanded its treasurer’s role to include financial oversight of its recently created Smart Mobility subsidiary.
Barb Samardzich, 57, is retiring Oct. 1 as vice president and COO of Ford of Europe, the automaker said on Monday in a statement. Armstrong, her successor, currently is the president of Ford’s South America operations. A UK national, Armstrong is a 25-year Ford veteran who served as chief operating officer of Volvo Cars, where he oversaw Ford's sale of the Swedish automaker to China's Geely Automotive Holdings.
Samardzich is one of Ford’s highest-ranking female executives and has been with the automaker for more than 26 years, serving as its deputy leader in Europe since November 2013. She helped to guide Ford of Europe to its first annual profit since 2011 last year, and the region has improved so much that it earned more in the first quarter of this year than in all of 2015.