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Ford announced senior leadership team changes

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Staff writer | Dearborn, Mich., USA | September 16, 2013
FordSeptember 16, 2013, Dearborn, Mich., USA - Ford Motor Company is announcing a series of changes within its senior leadership team, effective November 1, 2013.
Ken Czubay, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, has elected to retire, after working for more than four decades in the automotive industry.

Previously, Mr. Czubay held the position of Ford vice president of U.S. Sales and Marketing, responsible for oversight of day-to-day sales and marketing of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles in the U.S. Czubay first worked for Ford in 1970 as a financial analyst with Ford Motor Credit Company and went on to hold several positions for Ford Division and Lincoln Mercury Divisions.

In 1983, Mr. Czubay joined Nissan North America in California, where he worked in sales and marketing until 1987, when he took a position as an executive with the Suburban Collection, a group of auto dealerships based in Troy, Mich.

In 1990, he joined Deerfield, Fla.-based JM Family Enterprises. He held various executive positions there including President of Southeast Toyota Distributors LLC, the largest independent distributor of Toyota vehicles in the world and President of JM Lexus.

Mr. Czubay graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

Succeeding Mr. Czubay is John Felice, currently general sales manager for Ford and Lincoln. Mr. Felice will be the senior leader for U.S. marketing, sales and service for Ford and Lincoln.

Prior to this role, Mr. Felice served as general manager, Ford Lincoln Sales, a position to which he was appointed in November 2011.

Mr. Felice served as general manager, Ford Lincoln Marketing, from December 2007 until October 2011.

Prior to that, he was director, North American Fleet, Lease and Remarketing Operations.

Mr. Felice served as president of Ford Thailand Operations and as a member of the Board of Directors of AutoAlliance (Thailand) Co. Ltd., where he was the primary Ford interface for the joint venture.

He also served as the executive director, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford Asia Pacific Africa, where he was responsible for all marketing, sales and service initiatives for the Asia Pacific Africa markets – Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, China, India, Japan, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Mr. Felice served on numerous boards in the region, including Ford Japan Ltd., Ford Japan Dealer Ltd., ACSG (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Ford Sales Thailand Co. Ltd. and Ford India Co. Ltd.

Mr. Felice joined Ford in April 1984. During his tenure at Ford, he has served in various management positions in the Sales and Marketing organization, including market research, franchising, advertising, product planning, programming and direct dealer interface in several sales and marketing roles.

Mr. Felice earned a bachelor's degree in computer science from Oakland University and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan – Dearborn.

He currently serves as a board member of FordDirect.

Ford also is announcing that Barb Samardzich is appointed chief operating officer, Ford of Europe.

Prior to this assignment, Ms. Samardzich was vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe, having been appointed to this position in September 2011. She 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, Ms. Samardzich was vice president, Powertrain Operations. During her time as executive director leading the development of small front-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive vehicles, she was responsible for the design, engineering and development of nine key Ford and Lincoln vehicles, including the 2005-model Mustang.

Ms. Samardzich also previously served in a variety of positions in Powertrain Engineering, including chief engineer for Ford's Automatic Transmission Operations.

Her work in automatic transmissions and her experience in product creation won her the Women in Engineering Achievement Award from Design News in 2004. During her career at Ford, 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 was named an Automobilwoche Top 50 Automotive Women (Frauen der Autobranche) for 2011 and an Automotive News All Star for 2009 and 2010.

Other honors include acknowledgement as one of the Most Influential Women by Crain's Detroit Business in 2007, winning the Distinguished Women Award from Northwood University in 2006, and being named a Leading Woman in the North American Automotive Industry by Automotive News in 2005 and 2010.

Ms. Samardzich 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.

Succeeding Ms. Samardzich is Joe Bakaj, who is appointed vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe.

Mr. Bakaj has more than 28 years of product development experience at Ford Motor Company, working in Britain, Germany, Japan and the United States.

Prior to this role, Mr. Bakaj served as vice president, Powertrain Engineering, responsible for overseeing all engine and transmission engineering worldwide, beginning in January 2011.

In April 2008, he was appointed vice president, Global Product Programs, Ford Motor Company, and vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe.

Mr. Bakaj was previously vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe, a position he held beginning in September 2005.

He managed the development and launch of all of the company's new products, including the 2006 Ford Galaxy and acclaimed S-MAX model, which was voted "Car of the Year 2007" in Europe, and the latest generation Ford Mondeo, new Ford Kuga crossover and all-new global Ford Fiesta small car. He also was a member of Ford of Europe's executive operating committee.

Before rejoining Ford of Europe in 2005, Mr. Bakaj was senior managing executive officer in charge of design, product planning, research and development for Mazda Motor Corporation and responsible for the worldwide development of all Mazda products.

Immediately prior to his position at Mazda, he worked at Ford as vehicle engineering director for North American truck product development.

Mr. Bakaj's past experience includes powertrain engineering and extensive noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and chassis work. Notably, he was vehicle engineering manager for the 2000-model Ford Mondeo and was named Engineer of the Year in 2000 by U.K.-based Autocar magazine for his efforts on that vehicle project.

He was also recognized as an Automotive News All Star in 2011 for his work on the 1.6- and 2.0-liter Ecoboost engines and received the 2011 Automotive News Europe Eurostar award for his extensive work on renewing Ford products in Europe.

Mr. Bakaj earned a degree in mechanical engineering from City University in London before joining Ford of Britain in 1985.

In addition, Bob Fascetti is elected a Ford Motor Company officer and named vice president, Powertrain Engineering, succeeding Mr. Bakaj.

Mr. Fascetti has more than 25 years of powertrain and product development experience at Ford Motor Company. Prior to this role, he served as director, Global Engine Engineering, beginning in April 2011. The entire EcoBoost engine line up, as well as the best-in-class 6.7 liter diesel engine, were designed and developed under his leadership. The 1.0 liter EcoBoost Engine has been named the International Engine of the Year for two consecutive years.

Mr. Fascetti's past experience includes more than two decades in the world of engines and transmissions. He was previously director, Large Gas and Diesel Engineering; director, North America Diesel; director, V Engine Engineering, director, Truck Engineering; and chief engineer, Automatic Transmissions.

Mr. Fascetti earned a master's degree in engineering systems from Oakland University in 1991 and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Oakland University in 1985.


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