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Ford names new North American leader

Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, is shown.

Ford named a new North American leader after Raj Nair exited the company last week after an internal investigation into reports of inappropriate behavior.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker, which employs thousands in the Calumet Region at the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch and the Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights, named Kumar Galhotra its new group vice president and president of Ford North America.

Ford also named Joy Falotico group vice president of Lincoln and chief marketing officer, David McClelland vice president of Ford and CEO of Ford Motor Credit Company, Stuart Rowley vice president and chief operating officer of Ford North America, John Lawler vice president of strategy of Ford Motor Company, and Cathy O’Callaghan vice president and corporate controller and chief financial officer Global Markets.

The automaker said the changes to senior management are intended to help the company "strengthen its automotive business, improve the company’s operational fitness and accelerate a strategic shift to capitalize on emerging opportunities."

"Ford is very fortunate to have an experienced and committed executive team in place driving every day to significantly strengthen our business while building toward our vision of becoming the world’s most trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world," Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett said.

Galhotra, 52, will be responsible for overseeing "all aspects" of Ford's North American business. He's a 29-year veteran of Ford who most recently led the Lincoln Motor Company while serving as Ford's chief marketing officer. He's served in a number of senior-level engineering and product strategy positions around the world.

“Kumar is an incredibly talented executive with a special feel for product and brand. He is also a seasoned leader who knows how to drive a business transformation,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Global Markets, who Galhotra will report to. “Kumar is the right person to lead our North American business to new levels of operational fitness, product and brand excellence, and profitability."


Business reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.