Canadian Manufacturing

Ford swaps out CEO at European division

The changes come amid continued losses in Europe and little for a turn around in the near term

MILAN, Italy—U.S. carmaker Ford has replaced its European boss amid widening regional losses.

Ford’s global marketing chief, Jim Farley, will take over as head of European operations, based in Cologne, Germany. Farley is switching roles with outgoing European chief executive Stephen Odell, who was named to the marketing job, the automaker said in a statement.

Ford hasn’t turned a profit in Europe since 2010, when Odell took over and the region plunged into a recession and the biggest car market contraction ever. Ford is forecasting a $1.2-billion loss in Europe for 2014, following widening third-quarter losses, and no longer is predicting a return to profit next year.

Ford said that Farley, 52, will be charged with leading Ford’s turnaround in Europe, which includes a series of new product launches and cost cutting. Farley took over the marketing role in 2007, and previously spent a decade at the Lexus luxury division of Toyota Motor Corp.

Odell, 59, is credited as instrumental in the turnarounds at Volvo, where he was CEO for two years, and at Mazda, where he was marketing chief.

Ford said the changes have been planned for some time.

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