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Old 04-11-2005, 18:43   #1 (permalink)
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US:Hesterberg leaves Ford,Lyons takes over North America marketing

Hesterberg leaves Ford
Lyons takes over North America marketing

By Amy Wilson
Automotive News


Earl Hesterberg


Steve Lyons

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co.'s top North American marketing executive is leaving the company to run Group 1 Automotive Inc.

Earl Hesterberg, 51, becomes CEO of the Houston-based public dealership group less than four months after taking over Ford's North America marketing operation from retired executive Jim O'Connor. Hesterberg previously held the top marketing job at Ford of Europe, worked for Nissan Motor Corp. and was president of Gulf States Toyota.

Ford Division President Steve Lyons, 56, will take Hesterberg's place as Ford's group vice president of North America marketing, sales and service, Ford announced late Monday. Lyons, a 33-year Ford veteran, had led Ford Division for the past three years.

Lincoln Mercury President Darryl Hazel, 56, succeeds Lyons as president of Ford Division. Hazel, a 33-year Ford Motor veteran, had been head of Lincoln Mercury since 2002.

Al Giombetti, 48, takes over for Hazel as president of Lincoln Mercury. A 24-year Ford veteran, Giombetti most recently was general sales manager for Lincoln Mercury.

Hazel and Giombetti will report to Lyons, as will Cisco Codina, 53, who continues as president of Ford's customer service division. Lyons will report to Greg Smith, Ford's president of the Americas.

"Steve Lyons' strong sense of the marketplace, relationships with dealers and ability to drive results will help us grow market share with our two highest-volume divisions," Smith said in a statement.

All changes are effective immediately.
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