Former Ford purchasing boss Tony Brown named to Tower board

Tony Brown, 58, retired as Ford's group vice president of global purchasing in August.

Former Ford Motor Co. purchasing chief Tony Brown has been elected to supplier Tower International’s board of directors effective April 1.

Brown, 58, retired as Ford’s group vice president of global purchasing in August. While at Ford, Brown had responsibility for $90 billion in annual purchases. During his tenure, he helped the automaker improve its relationships with suppliers, which had often been adversarial.

Before joining Ford in 1999, Brown was vice president of supply management at United Technologies Automotive, then one of Ford’s largest suppliers. Today, he is a director on the boards of 3M Co. and ConAgra Foods Inc.

“We are delighted to welcome Tony to our board,” Tower Chairman Nicholas Chabraja and CEO Mark Malcolm said in a statement. “His accomplished background, deep insights into the requirements for mutually successful automotive supplier-customer relationships, and his strategic approach to business development and growth will be great assets for Tower.”

Tower, of suburban Detroit, ranks No. 85 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with worldwide parts sales to automakers of $2.05 billion in 2012. The company makes body structures and assemblies, lower vehicle frames and structures, chassis modules and systems, and suspension components.

You can reach Sean Gagnier at sgagnier@crain.com

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