Ford overhauls leadership team amid CFO departure, European restructuring

By FordFOXBusiness

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Ford Motor Co. is overhauling its global leadership team in anticipation of the departure of its current CFO Bob Shanks and as the carmaker continues work on an $11 billion international restructuring effort.

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Current Snap Inc. CFO and former Amazon executive Tim Stone will replace Shanks, who is planning to depart at the end of 2019, the Dearborn, Michigan-based company said on Thursday.

Stone will assist Ford as it strives "to become the world’s most trusted company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world,” CEO Jim Hackett said.

"He was a key player in the incredible success at Amazon and he understands the principles of fitness and growth as complementary virtues for Ford’s future," Hackett wrote in a statement.

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Peter Fleet, who heads Ford’s International Markets Group, is also set to retire. He will be replaced on April 1 by Mark Ovenden, who leads the carmaker’s Middle East and Africa division.

Starting in 2020, the international division will become its own reporting unit – a move that comes after Ford previously separated China off as its own division.

Ford is also promoting Stuart Rowley, chief operating officer of its North America business, to president of European operations, where he is expected to accelerate the firm's transformation strategy in the region. Current Europe president Steven Armstrong is moving to a chairman role.

“Under the leadership of Stuart and Steve, the European team has developed a comprehensive plan to fundamentally transform its operations and return the business to profitability, work which only will accelerate as they take on their new roles,” Hackett said.

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This week, Ford began its plan to cut more than 5,000 jobs from Europe, part of an overall strategy to reduce costs and reinvigorate demand. The company previously said every new model in the market would have a battery, either hybrid or all-electric -- a reflection of the growing regulatory pressure in the region on carmakers to manufacture emissions free vehicles.

The strategy is anticipation of the U.K.’s departure from the European Union. Should no deal be reached before the exit, Ford stands to lose as much as $1 billion.

On top of the shift in Europe, Ford previously said it would end production of heavy trucks in South America.

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In the first quarter of 2019, Ford reported a loss of $116 million, underscored by a 8.6 percent drop in sales in Europe to $7.4 billion