Ford Picks Up Toyota’s Farley



Ford Motor Co. has taken a cue from Chrysler and snatched a top executive from Toyota Motor Corp.

Jim Farley, theToyota executive who put Scion on the motoring map, will head up Ford’s marketing operations, Ford chief executive Alan Mulally said in an announcement Thursday.

Mulally also said when Farley joins the company in mid-November he will be the company’s most senior marketing leader. Farley also will report directly to him, Mulally said.

Farley will lead Ford’s drive to connect more closely with customers through integrated marketing, advertising, digital communications, brand development, product planning, research, product communications, and public relations, Mulally said. Ford’s global communications and public relations team also will report to Farley, Mulally said.

In his new post, Farley will not only be responsible for working with the company’s worldwide business unit leaders but also the company’s global product development organization, Mulally added.

“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,” Mulally said.

Ford has continued to lose market share in recent months and sales of some of the company’s most popular models, including the Ford Mustang and Ford F-150, have begun to falter in recent months, pushing Mulally to make the dramatic changes.

Cisco Codina, the head of the Ford Division, was unceremoniously dumped last month while his quotes were featured in company literature launching the new Ford Focus.

By recruiting Farley Mulally is following the lead set by Chrysler LLC, which snatched up Jim Press, the first American to serve on the Toyota’s top board of management, to serve as president and vice chairman. Chrysler also hired Deborah Meyer, Toyota’s director of advertising, to become head of advertising and marketing.

The hiring of the 45-year-old Farley, however, is a coup in and of itself for Ford.

Farley is widely regarded as one of the most talented young executives in the industry’s and was widely expected to emerge as one of the top executives at Toyota in the next couple of years. He was not only responsible for Scion but he also had overseen the meticulously planned launch of the new Tundra pickup and was thus instrumental in the marketing push over the last three years that has vaulted Toyota into the number-two position in sales in the United States.

Earlier this year, he had been put in charge of Lexus Division, partly in response to the persistent speculation he was being actively recruited by other automakers.

Meanwhile, Ford has been criticized for an unfocused marketing effort that has become totally dependent on rebates and incentives to promote sales.




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