Elena Ford will head a newly created global marketing office to unify Ford Motor Co. sales efforts worldwide.
Ford, 42, the great-great-granddaughter of company founder Henry Ford, will become the director of global sales, marketing and service operations on Sunday, Feb. 1. She has been executive vice president of global brand and marketing for Ford Motor Credit Co.
She will report to Jim Farley, Ford global vice president of marketing and communications.
The global marketing office is the next step in our One Ford vision to integrate Fords worldwide operations and leverage our scale and expertise, Farley said in a release.
The new operation follows Fords global consolidation of product development in 2006 and purchasing activities last year. Ford is unifying its global product offerings.
The company plans to make all global-segment vehicles common across Fords North American, European and Asian lineups within five years: Fiesta- and Focus-sized small cars, Fusion- and Mondeo-sized mid-sized cars and SUVs, and commercial vehicles.
The new global marketing effort will first show up in a multi-market launch of the new-generation Ford Focus in 2010. Ford expects substantial savings in marketing costs using a unified campaign.
In a telephone interview today, Elena Ford said her previous marketing and international assignments prepared her for a job channeling all of Ford's product advertising and marketing messages worldwide into a single voice.
"The challenge will be to concentrate my efforts on three or four main tasks rather than spreading them over 10," she said. "For one, I'll have one global creative director for each product launch rather than a creative director in each country, starting with the new Focus."
On Jan. 12, Ford director of global marketing Anne Belec left the company to pursue other opportunities. A 24-year Ford veteran, she left after about a year in that position.
Elena Ford, also the granddaughter of former chairman Henry Ford II, has held four other director-level marketing positions in the automakers North American or international operations since her first assignment as a Ford brand truck advertising specialist. She was a senior account executive for Wells, Rich Green Advertising in New York before she joined Ford in 1995.