Two Ford Execs To Retire

John Parker, executive vice president, Asia Pacific and Africa, and Phil Spender, Ford vice president and executive vice president, Mazda Motor Corp., to step down.

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford Motor Co., which surprised the market by posting a third-quarter profit, said Tuesday that two of its senior executives are retiring.

John Parker, executive vice president, Asia Pacific and Africa, and Phil Spender, Ford vice president and executive vice president, Mazda Motor Corp., will step down from their posts at the start of the new year.

Parker, 62, spent 41 years with the automobile maker and held several positions within the company's Asia Pacific and Africa region. He will be succeeded by Joe Hinrichs, 42, who currently serves as group vice president of global manufacturing and labor affairs. The appointment takes effect Dec. 1.

Spender, 55, became Ford vice president in 2008 and was also elected as a Mazda executive vice president and representative director that year. Ford said another senior executive will be sent to Mazda, but that person won't sit on the Japanese automaker's board. The replacement was not identified Tuesday.

In November 2008, Ford sold 20 percent of its 33.4 percent stake in Mazda, although the two companies say they will maintain a partnership. Over the last decade, Ford helped engineer a turnaround at once-struggling Mazda, sending executives and sharing technology and auto parts to cut costs.

Ford said John Fleming will take on Hinrichs' global manufacturing and labor affairs responsibilities. Fleming, 58, will continue to serve as executive vice president, chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe.

Hinrichs is a rising Ford star, credited with helping to simplify and standardize its global manufacturing operations and raising its vehicle quality.

On Monday, Ford posted a third-quarter profit of $997 million, as it cut costs by more than $1 billion and its key North American car and truck division recorded its first quarter in the black since early 2005. But the automobile maker's debt jumped $800 million from the second quarter to $26.9 billion.

The company also announced Monday that it will ask lenders for extra time to repay at least some of the $10.1 billion borrowed under a credit line, and will sell about $3.3 billion in stock and convertible debt to raise more cash.

Ford shares fell 13 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $7.45 in morning trading.

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