The FINANCIAL — On July 18, Ford Motor Company announced changes in its senior leadership team in Europe, South America and Ford Smart Mobility LLC as it continues to deliver the company’s plan for profitable growth.
Barb Samardzich, vice president and chief operating officer, Ford of Europe, has elected to retire Oct. 1 after more than 26 years. Samardzich, 57, has served in several leadership positions at Ford in the U.S. and Europe. As chief operating officer since November 2013, she has overseen many of Ford of Europe’s operations, including Manufacturing, Quality, Product Development, Purchasing, and Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering, according to the Ford Motor Company.
Prior to her current role, Samardzich was vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. She also served in officer level positions overseeing Global Product Programs and Powertrain Engineering. During her career, Samardzich was responsible for the design, engineering and development of several key Ford and Lincoln vehicles, including the 2005 model Mustang.
“Barb’s leadership and expertise have been critical to the transformation of our Ford of Europe business into a vibrant and profitable organization,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “Over the course of her career, she was instrumental in developing our global powertrain lineup, along with guiding the design and engineering of many Ford vehicles including Mustang and F-Series Super Duty. We are grateful for her many contributions and strong leadership over the years.”
Succeeding Samardzich will be Steven Armstrong, 52, who is named vice president and chief operating officer, Ford of Europe, effective Sept. 1. Armstrong currently is president, Ford South America, a position in which he has served since January 2014. In his new role, he will report to Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Succeeding Armstrong is Lyle Watters, 51, who is named vice president, Ford Motor Company and president, Ford South America, effective Aug. 1. Watters will be responsible for leading all Ford operations in South America and will report to Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president, The Americas.
Watters has been chief financial officer and vice president, Finance & Strategic Planning, Ford of Europe. He also has been a member of the Ford Otosan board of directors since March 2012 and the Ford Sollers board of directors since April 2012. Prior to his service in Europe, he was chief financial officer for Ford South America. He also is elected a Ford Motor Company corporate officer.
Neil Schloss, 57, Ford vice president and treasurer, will add the role of chief financial officer (CFO), Ford Smart Mobility LLC, a subsidiary formed to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services. In this role, effective Aug. 1, Schloss will have full responsibility for the financial operations of Ford Smart Mobility LLC.
Schloss has served as treasurer since March 2007. With his added responsibilities, he will report to Bob Shanks, Ford Motor Company chief financial officer, and Jim Hackett, chairman, Ford Smart Mobility LLC.