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Barb Samardzich to retire as Ford Europe COO

Staff Writer | Dearborn, Mich., USA | July 19, 2016
Barb SamardzichJuly 19, 2016, Dearborn, Mich., USA - Ford Motor Company announced changes in its senior leadership team in Europe, South America and Ford Smart Mobility LLC.
Barb Samardzich, vice president and chief operating officer, Ford of Europe, has elected to retire October 1 after more than 26 years.

Ms. Samardzich was vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe, having been appointed to this position in September 2011.

Ms. Samardzich previously served as vice president, Global Product Programs. She has held several key leadership roles in Ford’s Product Development organization.

She served as vice president, Powertrain Engineering, responsible for engine and transmission engineering worldwide. Before that, she was vice president, Powertrain Operations.

Ms. Samardzich also previously served in a variety of positions in Powertrain Engineering, including chief engineer for Ford’s Automatic Transmission Operations. She also served as chief engineer for F-Series Super Duty commercial trucks, and as quality director for Ford-brand products in Ford of Europe.

Before joining Ford in 1990, Ms. Samardzich worked as a thermal design engineer in Westinghouse Electric’s nuclear fuels division.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and a master’s degree in engineering management from Wayne State University.

Steven Armstrong was named vice president and chief operating officer, Ford of Europe, succeeding Ms. Samardzich.

Mr. Armstrong was president Ford South America responsible for all Ford South American operations since January 2014. He has worked in the United States, Sweden and Germany. He served as president, Ford Brazil, starting in June 1, 2012, leading all aspects of Ford’s largest business unit in South America.

Mr. Armstrong also served as chief operating officer, Volvo Cars, where he oversaw the divestiture of Volvo Cars to Geely Automotive Holdings Ltd.

During his 25-year-plus career, Mr. Armstrong has served in a variety of senior management and purchasing positions for Jaguar, Volvo, Ford of Europe and served as chief operating officer of Getrag-Ford Transmissions.

Mr. Armstrong has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of East London.

Lyle Watters was named vice president, Ford Motor Company and president, Ford South America, succeeding Mr. Armstrong. He was elected a corporate officer.

Mr. Watters previously was chief financial officer and vice president, Finance & Strategic Planning for 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, Mr. Watters was chief financial officer, Ford South America, a position he assumed in October 2008. Between October 2005 and September 2008, he served as director of Business Strategy at Ford of Europe, responsible for business development and strategic planning.

Mr. Watters joined Ford of Britain in 1987 in finance and held various positions in Europe and North America, both in the automotive and financial services divisions.

Returning from North America in 1998, he was appointed treasurer, Ford of Europe, and in 2000 appointed finance controller for Ford’s Premier Automotive Group, which included Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin Lagonda and Volvo Cars.

In 2003, Mr. Watters was appointed finance controller for Global Marketing and Sales at Jaguar Land Rover. He graduated from Queens University in Belfast with an MBA in 1987.

Neil M. Schloss added new role of chief financial officer, Ford Smart Mobility, in addition to current position as Ford vice president and treasurer.

Mr. Schloss is vice president and treasurer for Ford Motor Company, and chief financial officer (CFO) of Ford Smart Mobility. He was appointed treasurer and elected a corporate officer on March 29, 2007.

Mr. Schloss joined Ford Motor Company in 1982 in the Controller’s Office at Ford Aerospace where he held a variety of finance positions before transferring to Ford in 1990. In 1991, he joined the Treasurer’s Office.

In 1998, Mr. Schloss was named assistant treasurer, Ford Credit. He maintained that position until December 1999 when he was named director, Financial Strategy, Treasurer’s office, Ford Motor Company.

In December 2002, he assumed the role of director, Global Risk Management, Treasurer’s office. He served as assistant treasurer, Ford Motor Company from March 2003 to March 2007.

Prior to joining Ford, Mr. Schloss earned an undergraduate degree in Finance from San Diego State University and a Masters of Business Administration from Santa Clara University.