Ford design chief J Mays retires, replaced by Moray Callum
VPs Tetreault, Mulloy also step down
J Mays, Ford Motor Co.'s global design chief and one of the last senior executives remaining from the Jacques Nasser era, is retiring from the company along with two other veteran senior executives.
Moray Callum, 58, design director for Ford in North America, will replace Mays, 59, the automaker said in a statement today.
Also retiring after long Ford careers are Jim Tetreault, 57, vice president of North American manufacturing, and Martin Mulloy, vice president of labor relations. Tetreault, a 36-year Ford veteran has been a key figure in revamping Ford's manufacturing strategy, while Mulloy helped shape agreements with the UAW that insured Ford's survival in the dark days of the financial crisis at the end of last decade.
Mays' design philosophy and some of his vehicles were the subject of a 2002 exhibition called "Retrofuturism: The Car Design of J Mays" at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
"The bold and sophisticated design language that J Mays pioneered will be visible for years to come in Ford vehicles and the auto industry overall," said Mark Fields, Ford chief operating officer in a statement. "In addition to his talent as a world-class designer, J has brought together one of the most talented design teams in the business."
His career was not without controversy.
Acclaimed for his talent, Mays took raps from critics for delivering bland vehicles like the Ford Five Hundred and Freestyle, the latter dubbed "Stylefree" by some wags.
In a 2012 interview with Automotive News, he acknowledged, "I don't want to push this onto somebody else. I don't think the Five Hundred or Freestyle was one of my brighter moments in Ford, but designing a car is not a solo effort and a lot of people have input on the kind of product they want. I've been at the company 13 years and I've been through five CEOs. Some of those CEOs have had more conservative tastes than others. And thankfully the one we have now lets me swing for the fences."
Under Alan Mulally, Ford's CEO since 2006, Mays has enjoyed something of a renaissance as he basked in the glow of critical praise for some of Ford's most recent designs, particularly the 2013 Fusion.
Vehicles designed under Callum's guidance include the new Ford Fusion, Explorer, Mustang, EcoSport and Lincoln MKZ.
Callum will lead global design of all concept and production vehicles for the Ford and Lincoln brands. Since 2006, Callum has had overall responsibility for the design of all cars and trucks designed in Ford's North and South America studios and for Lincoln. Vehicles designed under his guidance include the new Ford Fusion, Explorer, Mustang, EcoSport and Lincoln MKZ. Prior to his Ford job, Callum was based in Hiroshima, Japan, where he headed Mazda design from 2001 to 2006.
For the past five years, Jim Tetreault has been responsible for Ford's North America manufacturing operations with more than 30 manufacturing plants. Tetreault played a key role in ongoing efforts to improve manufacturing flexibility and efficiency, the company said. He also oversaw a product expansion in the region and the company's conversion to global platforms. Tetreault also served as vice president, Ford of Europe manufacturing, for three years and held numerous positions in plant operations and staff.
"Jim's strong leadership and attention to detail will be missed," said Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president, The Americas.
Succeeding Tetreault at the helm of Ford's North America manufacturing operation will be Bruce Hettle, 52. Hettle is currently executive director of global vehicle operations manufacturing operations.
Hettle, who has worked for Ford for 27 years, has led the company's global manufacturing engineering organization for vehicle operations since 2008. In addition to other leadership roles, he has served as director of Ford's manufacturing business office, and plant manager for Wayne Stamping and Assembly and Edison Assembly. He will report to Hinrichs.
Mulloy was appointed to his current position in 2005. He has been responsible for global labor policy and negotiations covering Ford's approximately 117,000 hourly employees. He led the company's successful 2007, 2009 and 2011 contract negotiations with the UAW. His career includes a variety of positions in human resources and labor affairs, including serving as the company's most senior HR leader in the Americas, Australia and Manufacturing.
"Marty's enthusiasm and love for Ford is infectious," said Fleming. "His dedication to collaboration and inclusiveness has strengthened our relationships with the UAW and our hourly employees around the world. "
Mulloy will be replaced by Bill Dirksen, who has been executive director, U.S. Labor Affairs, since 2007.
In his new role, Dirksen, 53, will be responsible for labor negotiations and labor policy globally for the company's union employees. He joined Ford Motor in 1985, and has served as the senior human resources leader at Ford Credit, manufacturing and quality, and Australia prior to moving to the U.S. Labor Affairs position seven years ago. Ford credited Dirksen, working with Mulloy, for playing an important part in the company's 2007, 2009 and 2011 UAW negotiations. Dirksen will report to Fleming and to Felicia Fields, group vice president, Human Resources and Corporate Services.
Ford also is announcing the election of Steven Armstrong as president, Ford South America, reporting to Hinrichs. Armstrong has been president of Ford of Brazil for the last 18 months.
For the past 18 months, Armstrong, 49, has been president of Ford's Brazil operations, leading all aspects of the company's largest business unit in South America.
Prior to this, Armstrong served as COO of Volvo Cars. Throughout his more than 25-year career, Armstrong has held a variety of senior management and purchasing positions with Jaguar, Ford of Europe and Volvo.
-- Bradford Wernle
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And the new generation Mustang will make its debut??????? Still waiting.
In response to the rude comments left on my opinion about Ford Motors manufacturing issues. All I can say is, you are probably not known for have a huge intellect in your circle of friends. The spell check I used was form the MSN website. Hurts doesn't it. My comments on Ford come for actual experience dealing with Ford and for your comment about me getting a job, this is going to really piss you off. I am retired. I retired in my 50's because I was competent I what I did, not something I would guess you will more than likely never be, competent at what you do. If responding to comments by someone stating a factually opinion is your job, your high school education is really paying off. Good luck, maybe someday you will get a real job. I know I would not hire someone like you.
I will apologize for any negative references to the designers career. It is really Fords overall responsibility for stand behind vehicles they manufacture. This is something I have personally experience with.
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