Jim Farley, a marketing star at Toyota Motor Corp., is joining Ford Motor Co. as group vice president of marketing and communications.
Farley, 45, joins Ford in mid-November. He will be Fords senior marketing officer and will report to CEO Alan Mulally.
After 13 months on the job, Mulally is making his first significant outside hire in Farley. Ford has been looking for a global marketing officer for several months.
He brings so many good things, Mulally said in an interview with Automotive News today.
Its a proven track record of marketing and product development and working together and the knowledge of one of the finest production systems in the world with Toyota. He also has admired Ford over the years. He appreciates what were doing today.
Farley spent 17 years at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., most recently as general manager of Lexus Division. He previously was group vice president of marketing for Toyota Division.
Farley also oversaw the launch of Toyotas youth subbrand, Scion.
Mulally said Farley will work with Fords worldwide business units and global product development organization. Farley will oversee Fords global communications and public relations operations.
He will lead Fords efforts to connect more closely with customers through integrated marketing, advertising, digital communications, brand development, product planning, research, product communications and public relations.
Mulally said Farley will have two priorities.
The first one being to share the story, the wonderful story of Ford the improvement in quality, the global product, the new cars, the crossovers, the SUVs, just to capture the excitement, Mulally said.
Another priority equally, is to join (global product development chief) Derrick (Kuzak) and the product development team as a partner to bring marketing and product development together to create the future cars and trucks that people really do want and value.
More changes to come
Ford continues to seek a successor to Cisco Codina, who retired last month as the companys group vice president of North American marketing, sales and service.
Farley said he is eager to get started.
My connection with Ford goes way back to my first car, a 1966 Ford Mustang, Farley said in the statement. I bought it when I was 15, restored it and drove it from California to Michigan. I am excited to make that trip once again.
Mulally, who has criticized Ford marketing decisions, challenged the companys marketing leaders late last year to do a better job of promoting product in 2007.
That resulted in Ford shifting away from the Bold Moves campaign launched in 2006 in favor of the Ford Challenge promotion it has been using.
Mulally said he wants to tune up the quality of Ford marketing, but didnt expect to increase the budget.
We have a good investment today, he said. I dont see that changing too much.
Farleys exit from Toyota is the latest of several high-profile departures of U.S. executives from the Japanese automaker in the past few months.
Last month, Jim Press left as president of Toyota Motor North America Inc. to become co-president and vice chairman of Chrysler LLC. Press had been Toyotas top-ranking North American executive.
In August, Deborah Wahl Meyer defected from Toyota, where she had been marketing vice president of Lexus Division, to become Chryslers chief marketing officer.
Jim Lentz, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., said Farleys hiring by Ford shows how highly the industry prizes the talent, knowledge and experience of Toyota executives.
Toyota has an amazingly deep bench, and the new promotions provided an opportunity to reward a number of top performers, Lentz said.
Mark Templin, Toyota Divisions vice president for Scion, succeeds Farley as Lexus general manager. Scion corporate manager Jack Hollis succeeds Templin. Dawn Ahmed, Toyota Divisions national cross-vehicle marketing manager, replaces Hollis.