Ford has shaken up their leadership team as they seek to expand its software leadership team and focus on EV production with lofty goals.
Ford announced today that the brand will be expanding its leadership team and reshuffling key leaders as it works to better its software and production capabilities regarding electric vehicles. In total, this plan will be either hiring or moving a total of 7 leaders. With it, the brand has shown clear intentions for software, production, and supply chain improvements.
Foremost in Ford’s press release is the hiring of two software-focused leaders; Roz Ho (from Hewlett-Packard) and Jae Park (from Google) will be joining Ford’s existing software leaders Sammy Omari (from Motional) and Rob Bedicheck (From Intel/Apple). This newly assembled team will work on “…Ford’s push to develop fully connected, software-defined vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems.”
Other leadership moves include Doug Field becoming Head of advanced product development at Ford’s EV branch “Model E.” John Lawler, current Ford CFO, will overtake supply chain organization while a Chief of global supply is selected. Lisa Drake, current VP of EV industrialization, will take control of manufacturing engineering and help Ford achieve a 2 million EV annual run rate by 2026. Finally, Chuck Gray, current VP of EV technology, will take over all vehicle hardware engineering.
These changes make Ford’s priorities (and perhaps challenges) visible. Ford is looking to compete on vehicle software with their now extensive software leadership team. Still, they are likely attempting to battle manufacturing and supply chain issues with leadership changes in those areas as well.
As more and more brands are noticing the importance of software within electric vehicles, especially regarding self-driving capabilities, it would not be a wild guess to assume that other brands will also be expanding their software teams. And while some have pointed to Ford as the poster child of supply chain issues (following recent announcements), most brands in the industry are likely being rocked by the current chip shortage and will require additional leadership in those areas as well.
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