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17 July 2013 | Adam Leach
Ford has appointed a head of engineering to lead its global purchasing operation when CPO Tony Brown retires at the start of next month after 11 years in charge.
Brown, who started work in 1987 and joined Ford 12 years later, will retire on 1 August as group vice president of global purchasing at the automotive manufacturer, a role he has held since 2002.
Current vice president of engineering, Hau Thai-Tang, will replace him, reporting to chief operating officer Mark Fields.
In a statement, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, said: “Tony Brown is a world-class business leader who has helped transform Ford’s relationship with our global supply partners. Tony’s leadership and dedication to working together have helped Ford and our supplier partners emerge from the recent global transformation of the auto industry well-positioned for future growth.”
Under Brown, the US manufacturer’s reputation amongst automotive suppliers has increased significantly. In the 2002 Working Relations Index (WRI) - the first edition of the annual vendor relations benchmark report by Planning Perspectives - Ford was fifth out of six with a score of 167 out of a possible 500. Since then, it has risen to third place, scoring 267 in 2013.
In addition to the appointment of Thai-Tang to take the lead on procurement, Birgit Behrendt has been appointed vice president of global programs and purchasing operations and Burt Jordan has been promoted to vice president of global vehicle and powertrain purchasing and supplier diversity.
Kumar Galhotra will replace Thai-Tang as vice president of engineering.