NEW YORK Ford on Friday said it will retool its marketing department, a move initiated by the impending retirement of James O'Connor, 61, as group vp of North American marketing, sales and service at year's end.
The position will be filled by Earl Hesterberg, 51, currently vp of marketing, sales and service for Ford's European operations. Hesterberg will report to Greg Smith, evp of the Americas, effective Oct. 1.
Geoff Polites was named vp, marketing, sales and service for Ford's operations in Europe, succeeding Hesterberg; and Marv Adams has been promoted to svp, chief information officer.
"Jim has stayed longer than he planned at my request, and for that the Ford Motor Company will always be indebted to him," Bill Ford, the company's chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "Jim led our marketing, sales and service efforts over the years, and he has been one of our company's most valuable ambassadors . . . Looking ahead, we expect Earl Hesterberg to continue as a strong and effective marketing, sales and service leader."
The company spends about $800 million annually on ads, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, and employs WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson in Detroit as its lead agency.
—Brandweek staff report