Ford descendant moves up company ladder
The appointment marks the 11th post for Elena Ford since joining Ford Motor.
By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News
Elena Ford is taking another quick step up the career ladder at Ford Motor Co.
The 38-year-old descendant of Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford has been appointed director of North America product marketing, planning and strategy.
The move combines her previous job as North America product marketing chief with product strategy and planning responsibilities.
Her duties will now encompass long-range development of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products.
"This change brings together strategic product planning and advanced product marketing to give us an even sharper focus on delivering great products for our customers," Elena Ford said in a statement.
The appointment marks the 11th post Elena Ford has held since joining the automaker in 1995. She has said her short-term goal is to become a member of Ford's board of directors.
Elena Ford is the great-great-granddaughter of Henry Ford. Her mother is Charlotte Ford, daughter of Henry Ford II and cousin to Bill Ford Jr., the company's chairman and CEO.
She is credited with helping revive Mercury. Its product lineup suffered from a severe lack of attention until last year's rollout of the Montego sedan and Mariner small SUV.
"The best thing about her, of course, is her name as Ford," said Jack Kain, owner of Jack Kain Ford in Versaille, Ky., and chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association. "That carries a lot of weight. The dealers are going to feel better that she's there."