Ford's Chief Technical Officer To Step Down

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. said Thursday its chief technical officer, who helped develop the Sync hands-free phone and entertainment system, will retire Feb. 1 after a decade with the automaker.

Gerhard Schmidt, 64, a former BMW AG executive, led Ford's research and advanced engineering team, a staff of engineers and scientists with offices in Dearborn, Mich., and Aachen, Germany. Schmidt will be succeeded by Paul Mascarenas, 49, who is currently vice president of engineering at Ford.

"Gerhard has been a visionary leader for Research & Advanced Engineering," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of global product development. "Many of the technologies that are now changing consumers' views of Ford -- EcoBoost, state-of-the-art diesels, SYNC -- all had their roots in research & advanced engineering."

Ford also said Ingvar Sviggum will retire Jan. 1 as vice president of marketing, sales and service for Ford's European operations. The 65-year-old joined Ford Norway in 1963 as a trainee. He will be succeeded by Roelent de Waard, 48, who is vice president of sales at Ford of Europe.

Ford has promoted Barb Samardzich, 52, to vice president of global product programs, effective Jan. 1. She will be succeeded as vice president of powertrain engineering by Joe Bakaj, 48, who currently serves as vice president of global product programs for Ford of Europe.
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