Ford's e-business expert will lead Ford Motor Co.'s marketing team in the Internet age.
Last month Ford lined up a fresh team. Players are marked by diversity of sex, ethnicity and career paths. Leading the group is Brian Kelley, 40, who two years ago was overseeing appliance sales at General Electric Co.
Kelley was named Ford vice president of global consumer services, replacing Robert Rewey, 62, a 38-year Ford veteran and a powerful representative of past executives.
Kelley will be a major voice as Ford tries to blend old-world retailing with electronic-age technology. But do not look for a retail revolution, Kelley says.
'You will continue to see evolution,' Kelley says. 'The retail business in the automotive industry works as well as it does because it has been honed over 100 years. Of course, it can get better. But you won't see revolution, because the consumer today is generally pleased with how they are buying vehicles.'
Kelley takes Rewey's job, with one notable change. Operations of the Ford brand in North America reported to Rewey. Now, Martin Inglis, head of the Ford brand in North America, reports to CEO Jacques Nasser.
Kelley's area includes global marketing, the automotive consumer service group, dealer development, worldwide direct markets, Ford racing technology and ConsumerConnect.
Kelley, who worked at General Electric and Procter & Gamble Co. before joining Ford, represents the diverse breed of managers hired by Nasser. Additions to the list include:
Karen Francis, who also worked at Procter & Gamble, will replace Kelley as president of ConsumerConnect, Ford's global unit for all e-commerce strategies. Francis, 38, also named a Ford vice president, is a former Oldsmobile general manager who left GM last year for Internet Capital Group, an e-commerce company.
Jan Klug, 41, named vice president of global marketing March 1. Klug's accounts at Leo Burnett USA in Chicago included Hallmark Cards, Oldsmobile and McDonald's Corp. She joined Ford as Ford Division marketing communications manager in June 1998.
Francisco Codina, 49, named Ford Division general marketing manager. The Cuban-born executive joined Ford in 1977, working most recently as president of Ford Argentina.
The new crop of Ford marketers differs markedly from their predecessors, who were predominantly white men who moved from region to region within the United States, shaking hands with dealers and learning the business from the showroom floor.
Since the late 1990s, Nasser has smashed Ford's insular culture. He hired executives from competitors such as DaimlerChrysler and BMW AG and from nonautomotive companies such as Whirlpool Corp.
Kelley reports to Nasser, bringing to 16 the number of Nasser's direct reports.
North American Ford brand automotive operations now are similar to the structure in Ford of Europe and the Premier Automotive Group, where top executives report to Nasser.
Having Inglis report to Nasser reduces the autonomy of Ford's automotive business groups