Ford Motor shuffled is top management ranks, naming a former Amazon executive as finance chief to succeed Bob Shanks and new presidents of the automaker's European operations and international markets group.
U.S.-based executive Stuart Rowley will be the new president of Ford's European business. Rowley will take on the role from Steven Armstrong, who becomes chairman of the automaker's operations in the region.
Rowley, 51, is currently chief operating officer for Ford North America. He will take on operational leadership of Ford of Europe, including accelerating the automaker's plan to restore the unit to profitability, Ford said in a statement on Thursday.
Rowley has been deeply engaged in Europe’s transformation planning, working with Armstrong, in recent months, Ford said.
Rowley was appointed chief operating officer for Ford North America only last year after serving as global head of strategy. He joined the automaker in 1990 as financial analyst for Ford of Britain and his earlier roles included Ford of Europe's chief financial officer and finance chief at Volvo Cars when it was owned by Ford.
Armstrong, 54, has been Ford of Europe president since June 2017 after being promoted from his previous role as president of Ford South America. As Ford of Europe's chairman, Armstrong will oversee Ford's cost-cutting projects, as well manage partnerships such as Ford's partnership with Volkswagen that includes joint production of commercial vans. Armstrong will also liaise with European governments on industry legislation and issues, the company said.
Rowley and Armstrong are both British.
Ford, which lost $388 million in Europe last year, said last week that it plans to cut more than 5,000 jobs in Germany and will reduce its workforce in Britain as it seeks to end its losses in the region.
The changes in Europe are part of a wider top management shuffle at the automaker that also includes Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks retiring at the end of the year. Shanks, 66, will be succeeded by Tim Stone, 52, who served 20 years at Amazon, and was the former finance chief of social media company Snap.
In other changes, Ford said:
- Peter Fleet, 51, will retire as president of international markets after a 30-year career at Ford. Fleet is a former Ford of Europe sales chief.
- Mark Ovenden, 54, will lead a newly-created International Markets Group that will become a reporting business unit on Jan. 1, 2020. Ovenden moves from his current position as president of Ford Middle East and Africa.
- Ovenden's previous roles include chairman and managing director of Ford of Britain and president and managing director of Ford of Russia.
- Birgit Behrendt, 59, head of joint ventures, alliances and commercial affairs in Europe, will retire after a 40-year career with the autormaker. Behrendt, a German national, is a former head of purchasing for Ford of Europe. Currently she is as the main interface with Ford's joint venture and alliance partners as well as supporting the establishment of the strategic alliance with VW Group. Behrendt will remain on the supervisory board of Ford Germany.
Rowley, Armstrong and Ovenden will report to Jim Farley, president of Ford Global Markets.