With one of its most senior executives on his way out, Ford has unleashed a huge reshuffling in its top ranks, the most notable being the ascension of Kumar Galhotra.
A 29-year veteran at Ford, Galhotra has served until now as the company’s chief marketing officer and head of the Lincoln division. He’s now moving up to group vice president and head of Ford’s vital North American division, replacing Raj Nair who was dismissed on unspecified grounds of improper conduct.
“Kumar is an incredibly talented executive with a special feel for product and brand. He is also a seasoned leader who knows how to drive a business transformation,” said Ford’s global-markets chief Jim Farley. “Kumar is the right person to lead our North American business to new levels of operational fitness, product and brand excellence, and profitability.”
His former position will be filled by Joy Falotico, the current head of the Ford Motor Credit Company. She’ll be leaving that position to her deputy David McClelland, but keeping the credit board chairmanship as she takes over as head of marketing and Lincoln in Galhotra’s place. Her promotion will undoubtedly make her one of the most influential female auto industry executives this side of GM chief Mary Barra.
“Joy has been a driving force,” said Farley, “behind not only Ford Credit’s consistently strong financial performance, but also its business model innovation and transition to a digital customer platform.”
Meanwhile, Galhotra is getting a new deputy in Stuart Rowley who was appointed chief operating officer of Ford North America. His previous role as head of group strategy will be filled by John Lawler, whose current role as corporate controller and CFO for global markets goes to Cathy O’Callaghan, the current head of Ford South America. But that’s as far as the dominoes will fall for now, as O’Callaghan’s successor will be announced at some future date.