Ford alters marketing structure

Klug will head specialty group

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. has sacked its women's marketing and product office but hasn't abandoned women's marketing.

In January the company will consolidate women's and diversity marketing into one specialty marketing group. That group will report to Jan Klug, vice president of global marketing.

"The group will be centralized, and all specialty segments will share resources, so they'll share best practices, whereas we had a stand-alone marketing group with Linda Lee," said Ford spokeswoman Paige Johnson. Lee, 52, managed the women's office at Ford and is retiring.

Ford is investigating how to configure and staff its global marketing operations as part of its overall restructuring, Johnson said. The changes will be announced by mid-January when the company unveils a turnaround strategy.

The marketing changes will include how Ford handles its global Trustmark initiative, which encompasses all brands, Johnson said. Trustmark is Ford's corporate brand intended to build confidence in the company, its products and services.

The consolidation of women's and diversity marketing is similar to what General Motors did in May. GM created a Center of Expertise in Diversity to increase vehicle sales to blacks, Hispanics, Asians and women, and to become more efficient in the way it spends money on marketing and media.

In addition to Lee, other high-profile women are retiring early from Ford, which is trying to shed 5,000 salaried jobs by year end. Other prominent women leaving the company include:

  • Anne Doyle, 53, Ford's top-ranking woman in public affairs, most recently for global marketing.

  • Mary Ellen Heyde, 55, vehicle line director for Windstar, Mustang and Thunderbird. She will be replaced by Nancy Gioia, 37, former Thunderbird chief engineer.

  • Pam Kueber, 42, vice president of public affairs for Ford of Canada.
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