Ford axes top Euro role

Automotive giant continues European shake-up by scrapping board-level marketing position

Ford of Europe’s most powerful marketer has been replaced as the car maker restructures its marketing operation amid continuing financial losses.

Keith Magee, 51, vice-president for European sales and marketing since 1995, is taking early retirement. He will be replaced by Philippe Mellier, who will continue as executive director of European sales operations until January. But Mellier will not be “vice-president” which is a board position – instead he will be head of European sales and marketing.

Mellier, who was previously president of Ford Mexico, only took up the sales role in March. This was part of an earlier reshuffle that also saw Massimo Ghenzer given overall control of the brand management system which the company has been introducing over the past 18 months. Ghenzer reported to Magee.

Mellier’s appointment, coinciding with that of James Donaldson as president of European operations, follows a related change in the

UK last month when Andrea For-mica replaced Tom Pallister as Ford GB marketing director (MW October 30).

Ford adopted a brand management system in Europe last year but has been suffering losses on the Continent for two years. Last week, it revealed third-quarter losses of $147m (96m), although chairman Alex Trotman says it expects to break even in Europe this year.

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