Ford Strengthens Product Development Team; Reinforces Global Leadership Structure
- Ford names Barb Samardzich, vice president, Global Product Programs to role of vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe, effective Sept. 1
- The move strengthens Ford’s global Product Development leadership team, further supporting the company’s One Ford plan
DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 11, 2011 – Ford Motor Company today announced a realignment of its global Product Development leadership team, naming Barb Samardzich, vice president, Global Product Programs, to the position of vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe.
Effective Sept. 1, Samardzich, 52, will oversee all Product Development activities in the European region. She will report to Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe and Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development.
“Barb’s leadership, extensive engineering background and previous experience in Europe will be critical in leading the Product Development team in this period of growth as we launch at least 20 new or significantly freshened vehicles between 2011 and 2013,” said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.
In addition to the Ford of Europe Product Development team, Samardzich will continue to lead Ford’s Global Vehicle Engineering, Noise Vibration and Harshness, and Global Vehicle Evaluation and Verification teams. These teams have reported to her since January.
“Barb’s appointment strengthens the leadership of our European team at a critical time as we develop the high-quality, fuel-efficient, safe and innovative vehicles our customers want and value,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development.
In her new role, Samardzich replaces Frank Davis, who recently took on a new North American assignment. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida, and master’s degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University and Wayne State University.
She has held several leadership roles in the product development organization during her career, including serving as vice president, Powertrain Engineering. During her career, Samardzich also served as executive director, Small FWD and RWD Vehicles, and was chief engineer for Ford’s Automatic Transmission Operations.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com