US:2 senior Ford execs to leave
2 senior Ford execs to leave
Both were VPs until positions were cut by automaker trying to thin out corporate ranks.
David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON -- Two senior Ford executives who had served as company vice presidents until the company streamlined its officer ranks earlier this year are leaving the automaker, a spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.
The executives leaving include the first woman to serve as manager of a vehicle assembly plant at Ford and the man credited with overseeing the eco-friendly transformation of the Ford Rouge complex
Last Monday, Deborah Coleman, executive director for quality for the Americas, announced her plans to retire effectively immediately, Evans said.
Tim O'Brien, a deputy chief of staff for executive operations and sustainability, is retiring effective Jan. 1, said Marcey Evans, a company spokeswoman.
The personnel moves were not announced publicly by Ford.
Eliminating the two vice president positions helped the company make good on its vow to reduce its corporate officer ranks by 12 percent.
Coleman couldn't be reached and O'Brien declined to comment through Evans.
Evans declined to comment on "their personal reasons to retire at this time."
As part of Ford's expanded turnaround plan, the company is cutting 14,000 salaried positions and 30,000 hourly jobs. It also is offering buyouts to all 75,000 hourly employees and shuttering 16 plants in a bid to cut $5 billion in annual costs by 2008.
Coleman was trailblazer
Coleman had been vice president for global quality before she was replaced in March by Bennie Fowler, who was already a vice president. He absorbed some of Coleman's responsiblities.
She was a former head and managing director and CEO of Ford South Africa and was one of Ford's highest-ranking African-American employees. The first woman at Ford to run a vehicle assembly plant, Coleman joined the company in 1987.
Last year, Automotive News named her one of the 100 most influential women in the North American auto industry.
O'Brien behind Rouge tour
O'Brien lost his title as vice president for corporate relations in January. He was responsible for leading the redevelopment of the Ford Rouge Complex in Dearborn as well as for the popular Ford Rouge Factory Tour that shows off the production of the F-150.
O'Brien has overseen the company's regular sustainability and environmental impact reports.
"Enduring business prosperity can only result from products and services that enhance the quality of life and our environment," O'Brien said in a lettter outlining the company's reporting philosophy.
O'Brien joined the company as a lawyer in 1973 in the Office of General Counsel and eventually oversaw the company's nongovernmental external relationships. In November 2001 he was named vice president-real estate and was later named the vice president for corporate relations.
He has served on a number of community and environmental boards.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....