Hadi Saab, 30
Cross-vehicle product marketing connected technology manager, Ford Motor Co.
Big break: Working on Ford’s over-the-air-update strategy for the Mustang Mach-E and redesigned F-150
Hadi Saab joined Ford Motor Co. in November 2014 after several years at a 3D-printing startup partly because he wanted to move away from the hectic nature of a business just getting off the ground.
But his experience handling fast-paced situations has served him well with a century-old manufacturer that’s trying to think and act more like a young, nimble company.
One of his duties as Ford’s global cross-vehicle marketing manager was to wrangle employees from two dozen teams to collaborate on a strategy for the automaker’s over-the-air-update software.
He also worked with Ford’s North America “culture street team,” a grassroots effort to bring about cultural change. That proved to be no easy task.
“Being a 100-year-old automaker comes with a great legacy, but sometimes there’s some tensions,” he said. “It’s about breaking down those boundaries and achieving our goal. Sometimes that’s more difficult than delivering the product itself.”
Ford plans to offer over-the-air-update capabilities beginning this year with the launch of the Mustang Mach-E electric crossover and then the redesigned F-150 pickup and new Bronco off-road SUV. His efforts culminated last fall with the unveiling of the Mach-E.
“It’s a gratifying moment to see wire frames or scribblings on paper actually become a product,” he said.
Saab has a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the American University of Beirut, a master’s of science in engineering management from the University of Michigan and an architecture and systems engineering certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He said he always has tried to challenge his comfort level. He sees the same approach at Ford. “There’s so much opportunity,” he said. “I’m excited to see where Ford is headed.”
— Michael Martinez