OAKVILLE, Ontario - After four years as head of Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd., Bobbie Gaunt is calling it quits.
Ford officials said Wednesday, Nov. 29, the company would not name a successor until Gaunt's retirement takes effect Dec. 31.
Gaunt, 54, who has been the company's president and CEO since 1997 and a Ford vice president since 1999, is credited with widening Ford's manufacturing and marketing reach in Canada.
28 YEARS AT FORD
Ford of Canada's revenues rose 13 percent in 1999 to $30 billion. The Canadian unit, which has attracted $2.7 billion in new investment since 1997, employs 16,000.
Gaunt is leaving Ford after 28 years. She has worked in sales, marketing, market research and administration. As the western regional manager of Ford Division, she brought together all of the division's functions, including dealers, to form Team West - Ford's push to increase customer loyalty.
Gaunt was named one of the 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry by Automotive News in September.
She is noted at Ford for being a catalyst of a more inclusive management culture.
In 1972, she was the first woman to enter the company's sales and marketing program and, while ascending the ranks, she was the first female manager in virtually all of her posts, including her most recent promotion as president and CEO.
'Leading Ford of Canada has brought the fulfillment of my professional aspirations. Now it is time to pursue more of my personal aspirations,' she said last week.
She said she plans to mentor not-for-profit organizations and small business entrepreneurs
across North America, while spending more time with her family.