After being pushed aside in a management shakeup last year, Chris Theodore, Ford Motor Co.'s vice president of advanced product creation, is retiring Dec. 1.
Hau Thai-Tang, the high-flying chief engineer of the 2005 Ford Mustang, is taking over Theodore's responsibility but not his vice president title.
Thai-Tang, 38, becomes director of advanced product creation and will oversee Ford's Special Vehicle Team. He reports to Phil Martens, group vice president of product creation. John Coletti, 55, continues as director of SVT and will report to Thai-Tang.
Theodore, 54, lost his role as Ford's North American product chief in 2003 to Martens, who later described the product development group under his predecessor as "helter skelter." Theodore had held the top job since 2001 after leaving the Chrysler group for Ford in 1999.
At the Chrysler group, Theodore became Mr. Fixit for solving transmission defects on the automaker's minivans. At Ford, he spearheaded the GT sports car.