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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DETROIT -- Mark Fields' biggest management shuffle since taking over as Ford Motor Co. CEO involves a job swap for two key deputies -- Jim Farley and Stephen Odell -- who bring very different strengths to their new roles.

As global sales and marketing chief, Farley has displayed enthusiasm and spawned grand ideas. Odell's broad operational experience and attention to detail helped him lead Ford of Europe through years of severe recession.

The change, which sources told Automotive News had been in the works for a number of months, comes as Ford of Europe nears a return to profitability and with the automaker's global sales achieving record highs.

The switch will give Farley, 52, his first opportunity to run one of Ford's major business units and his first European stint since the 1990s, when he was a fast-rising star at Toyota Motor Corp. His lack of high-level operational experience was seen as a weakness when Ford was evaluating successors to retiring CEO Alan Mulally.

At the same time, Ford will have the well-traveled Odell, 59, in a global role at a time when the Chinese and North American markets are slowing and South American operations have been hit by economic turmoil there.

Odell is "a very talented leader with an incredible business acumen," said Jim O'Sullivan, who worked under Odell at Mazda Motor Corp. and later became its North American CEO.

"He had to handle many markets and brands and was actively involved in our North American growth strategy," O'Sullivan said. "It's good for Ford and good for him."

No 'tear up'

A person with direct knowledge of the thinking behind the move said it was not prompted by any dissatisfaction Fields had with their performance or with the expectation that either would need to "tear up" their predecessor's plans. Farley wanted to expand his operational experience, this person said, while Odell, a 34-year Ford veteran, has a significant marketing background and was open to a move back to the United States.

Another person directly familiar with the job swap said Ford's appointment a year ago of Barb Samardzich as Ford of Europe's COO was done with the idea of helping Farley in his upcoming role. Samardzich has considerable powertrain engineering and product development experience. Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the move publicly.

After serving as vice president of sales and marketing for Mazda Motor North America in the early 2000s, Odell held various senior positions in Japan and Europe with Ford, Mazda and Volvo Car Corp. before taking over Ford of Europe in 2010, just as that region plunged into recession. Farley had a number of sales and marketing roles with Toyota before Mulally lured him to Ford in 2007.

Welcome change?

"Both Farley and Odell have had key roles in Ford's recovery," Stephanie Brinley, an analyst with IHS Automotive, wrote in a report Friday, Nov. 7. "A shift in responsibilities might also be necessary to keep both Farley and Odell from burning out on their current roles. ... A change may be welcome."

Chris Donkin, a London-based automotive headhunter with the search firm Korn Ferry, said Odell "demonstrates many of the characteristics associated with what we identify as 'agile leadership' -- flexible and adaptive, with a broad and varied career profile, and the ability to move swiftly back and forth between strategic vision and operational detail."

Ford's U.S. dealers have mixed opinions of Farley, whose passion and outspokenness have gotten him into some sticky situations. Terry Massey, general manager of Ken Stoepel Ford in Kerrville, Texas, said he appreciated that Farley shunned stair-step incentive programs and minimized "huge push months" when dealers had to pursue overly ambitious targets.

LINK

Ford are still losing billions in Europe, so maybe Farley not associated with the area is the ideal man arriving with a hatchet to get the costs big FOE losses under control, and make them a viable concern, that can makes enough money to be sustainable reinvest in future products going forward, not sure what Odell brings to his new role as Ford were losing big money in Europe, whilst others like FWD Renault/Dacia & FWD VW part of VW Group have been making money on there operations in Europe..

FWD losers boss at Lincoln, swaps chairs FWD big losses boss in Europe, a new broom different day same ole ship. I wish them both the best of luck in their new jobs at least they have got the Mustang coming next year, and the Mondeo will be arriving arriving soon with that Ford Fusion Aston Martin front-end at long last..
 

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Re: Ford play musical chairs with Farley & Odell

Read about this last night.

'Wonder why?
 

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Re: Ford play musical chairs with Farley & Odell

It's not uncommon for execs to switch spots, to bring fresh thinking to a business group. Not necessarily a bad thing in either case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Ford play musical chairs with Farley & Odell

Read about this last night.

'Wonder why?
Farley an outsider has been sent in to Europe with a mandate to get tough on costs, balance the books.
 

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Re: Ford play musical chairs with Farley & Odell

Farley an outsider has been sent in to Europe with a mandate to get tough on costs, balance the books.
Unless I'm missing something he will head marketing and sales....same as he did in North America....he has no direct responsibility for operations. ... so he can't balance books he doesn't control....further Europe is a smaller operation....this seems to be a demotion....Ford like GM executives go to Europe or Asia to cut their teeth.....then return to North America where the big boys play.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Re: Ford play musical chairs with Farley & Odell

Unless I'm missing something he will head marketing and sales....same as he did in North America....he has no direct responsibility for operations. ... so he can't balance books he doesn't control....further Europe is a smaller operation....this seems to be a demotion....Ford like GM executives go to Europe or Asia to cut their teeth.....then return to North America where the big boys play.....
CAR MAGAZINE...
"Farley won’t be short of things to do in his new job. Ford of Europe is having a tough time at the moment, suffering losses of $1.6bn in 2013 alone. Under attack from budget brands such as Kia and Hyundai reaching upwards as well as premium German brands stretching downwards, it’s under more pressure than ever.

His main aims will be to push the brand towards profitable growth with yet more new models, cut costs and build Ford’s image in Europe"
LINK

Is this the same Jim Farley that played with big boys Lincoln CEO to stop the declining sales at Lincoln 2012-2014 were some of lowest ever sales in recent times?

Lincoln Car Sales
2002 150,057
2003 158,839
2004 139,016
2005 123,207
2006 120,476
2007 131,487
2008 107,295
2009 82,847
2010 85,828
2011 85,643
2012 82,150
2013 81,694


Farley can proudly claim to have helped the new FWD Lincoln to its lowest sales in 2012-13 on record?

Farley has already cut his teeth in Europe at Toyota, why doe he have to cut his teeth again?
 

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Re: Ford play musical chairs with Farley & Odell

CAR MAGAZINE...
"Farley won’t be short of things to do in his new job. Ford of Europe is having a tough time at the moment, suffering losses of $1.6bn in 2013 alone. Under attack from budget brands such as Kia and Hyundai reaching upwards as well as premium German brands stretching downwards, it’s under more pressure than ever.

His main aims will be to push the brand towards profitable growth with yet more new models, cut costs and build Ford’s image in Europe"
LINK
Looks like he is going to Europe to try his hand at operations.....interesting....he would need operational experience if he has aspirations beyond his present job as head of sales and marketing....looks like Mr.Farley wants to move higher in Ford....
 

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I have to say, Executive turnover at Ford has seemed very low for some time. It must be a good company to work for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Re: Ford play musical chairs with Farley & Odell

Looks like he is going to Europe to try his hand at operations.....interesting....he would need operational experience if he has aspirations beyond his present job as head of sales and marketing....looks like Mr.Farley wants to move higher in Ford....
LOL it was only two months since he was Lincoln's CEO President, his present job as head of sales and marketing September to November 2 months gap since his was stood down as Lincoln CEO President, Kumar Galhotra became president of Lincoln effective Sept. 1.

He was CEO president with the big boys in the US at Lincoln they might not have much in the operational experience is that what you mean, now he is CEO in Europe why does he need the same sort of experience again?

He also was quoted in the 2011 book "Once Upon A Car" as saying he wanted to "beat Chevrolet on the head with a bat," along with another profane statement about General Motors.

Sounds a bit of a violent hot head to me, just the sort of guy that could sort out FOE take no prisoners as he is an "outsider" in Europe, like l have already said in post 1.
 

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Re: Ford play musical chairs with Farley & Odell

LOL it was only two months since he was Lincoln's CEO President, his present job as head of sales and marketing September to November 2 months gap since his was stood down as Lincoln CEO President, Kumar Galhotra became president of Lincoln effective Sept. 1.

He was CEO president with the big boys in the US at Lincoln they might not have much in the operational experience is that what you mean, now he is CEO in Europe why does he need the same sort of experience again?

He also was quoted in the 2011 book "Once Upon A Car" as saying he wanted to "beat Chevrolet on the head with a bat," along with another profane statement about General Motors.

Sounds a bit of a violent hot head to me, just the sort of guy that could sort out FOE take no prisoners as he is an "outsider" in Europe, like l have already said in post 1.
Mr. Farley has very little operational experience. His strengths and most work history have been in sales and marketing. I assume hes going to Europe to gain operational experience ....

James D. Farley, Jr.
Executive Vice President and President, Europe, Middle East and Africa

Jim Farley is executive vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, effective
Jan. 1, 2015. In this new role, he will continue to lead and accelerate Ford’s transformation in Europe, executing the One Ford plan to achieve profitable growth through an unprecedented focus on new products, a strong brand and increased cost efficiency.

He continues to report to Ford President and CEO Mark Fields.

Previously, Farley served as executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales & Service. In this role, Farley led the company’s drive to connect more closely with customers through integrated global marketing, advertising, digital communications, brand development and research. He also was instrumental in leading the ongoing transformation of Lincoln, setting it on a path for growth as a world-class luxury brand and customer experience.

He was appointed to lead global marketing, sales and service in August 2010, and it marked the first time Ford had a single global leader for marketing, sales and service. He also held operating responsibility as the senior global leader for Lincoln from December 2012 to August 2014.

Previously, Farley was group vice president, global marketing and Canada, Mexico and South America. He had added responsibility for Ford’s operations in Canada, Mexico and South America in September 2009.

Farley joined Ford in November 2007. Since joining the company, he has led Ford’s drive to connect even more closely with customers through integrated global marketing, advertising, digital communications, brand development and research. In addition to his global marketing role, he leads the company’s global sales and service operations.

Farley’s achievements at Ford include improving overall operation fitness of the company’s marketing and sales operations, his work to globally align the brand, and integration of the global marketing and sales team. In addition, he was instrumental in positioning Ford’s operations in Canada, Mexico and South America for continued future growth, and leading the reinvention of the Lincoln brand, which included with the launch of the all-new Lincoln MKC and Lincoln’s introduction in China.

Prior to joining Ford, Farley was group vice president and general manager of Lexus, responsible for all sales, marketing and customer satisfaction activities for Toyota’s luxury brand. Before leading Lexus, Farley serviced as group vice president of Toyota Division marketing and was responsible for all Toyota Division market planning, advertising, merchandising, sales promotion, incentives and internet activities.

Farley joined Toyota in 1990 in the strategic planning department and served in several product and marketing positions in the United States and Europe. One of Farley’s most noted accomplishments is his responsibility for the successful launch and rollout of Toyota’s new Scion brand.

Farley, born in June 1962, attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he completed his MBA with a focus in finance. Farley and his wife, Lia, have three children.
 
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