Toyota's lost another top American executive to Detroit. If you'll remember from way back in early September, Jim Press left Toyota as chief operating officer of North America for a gig at Chrysler as vice chairman in charge of knowing how to run an automaker. Now Toyota's lost their second Jim as twenty-year veteran marketing man Jim Farley (
who is not at all related to Chris Farley
actually is the cousin of Chris Farley — who knew?) is headed to Ford to become the automaker's first veep of marketing and communications — a new position that includes, you guessed it, marketing and communications. Ford CEO Alan Mulally has pinned his company's marketing as one of its greatest weaknesses and we hear Mulally's expecting big Jim to come in and make things ship-shape real quick-like. Since arriving at Ford about a year ago, one of Mulally's most publicized actions was bringing back the Taurus name — otherwise, not so much really in the whole "marketing" department. As for communications — they did hire that guy from the Detroit News. So we guess there's that. Oh, and they've got that guy with the Irish last name who never says anything ever — yeah, he's cool we guess. All we know is with that hair, this boy's gonna fit in just fine over in Dearborn. Full press release after the jump.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY NAMES JIM FARLEY
TO LEAD MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 11 — Ford Motor Company President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally today announced the appointment of Jim Farley as Group Vice President of Marketing and Communications.
Farley joins Ford in mid-November, after nearly two decades at Toyota and Lexus.
"We are thrilled to welcome one of the most successful and talented leaders in the industry to the Ford Motor Company team," said Mulally. "Jim Farley is well known for innovative marketing strategies that connect great products to today's and tomorrow's customers. Ford's quality and vehicles are now on par with the best of the competition. We look forward to Jim's leadership to combine world-class marketing with our world-class products worldwide."
Farley will be the company's most senior marketing leader and will report directly to Mulally.
Working with the company's worldwide business unit leaders and global product development organization, Farley will lead Ford's drive to connect even more closely with customers through integrated marketing, advertising, digital communications, brand development, product planning, research, product communications and public relations. In line with that vision, Ford's global Communications and public relations team also now will report to Farley.
Farley, 45, most recently was Group Vice President and General Manager of Lexus, responsible for all sales, marketing and customer satisfaction activities for Toyota's luxury brand. He joined Toyota in 1990 in the strategic-planning department after receiving his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School. Since then, he has served in such senior leadership positions as Vice President and General Manager of Toyota's Scion brand, Group Vice President of Marketing for the Toyota Division, General Manager of Product Management for Toyota Europe and a variety of product planning, marketing and advertising roles.
Farley says he is passionate about joining Ford in this global leadership role and is eager to help lead the company's transformation plan toward automotive leadership and profitable growth.
"My connection with Ford goes way back to my first car, a 1966 Ford Mustang. I bought it when I was 15, restored it and drove it from California to Michigan. I am excited to make that trip once again," said Farley. "Ford is one of the world's most admired companies because of its ability to develop iconic products that connect with customers. I look forward to building on that strength by engaging customers and introducing even more of them to the great family of Ford."
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Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 260,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.