Ford Motor Co. recently brought in a dedicated head of Global Marketing to help execute its plan to unlock customer and company value, and its senior product quality and new-vehicle launch executive will soon close her exceptional career with the company.
Suzy Deering joined Ford as global chief marketing officer on Jan. 4, following five-plus years as worldwide and North America CMO at eBay.
Deering will succeed Joy Falotico as Ford CMO. The company previously announced that Falotico will be dedicated solely to her role as president of the Lincoln Motor Company, Ford’s rapidly growing and strategically important luxury vehicle brand. She has been managing both areas for the past three years.
Separately, Linda Cash has elected to retire from Ford effective Jan. 1, marking the end of an outstanding 36 years with the company, the last three as vice president, Quality and New Model Launch Program.
Deering is accomplished at using technology, data and analytics to anticipate customer needs and fulfill them with human-centered products and services. At Ford, she will be the global leader for modernizing marketing, driving brand strategy and best practices, and developing marketing talent. Additionally, she will run all marketing operations in North America, which accounts for more than 70 percent of Ford’s automotive revenue, including customer intelligence and product and consumer marketing.
“We’re putting more decision-making in the hands of our people who are closest to customers,” said Kumar Galhotra, president, Ford Americas and International Markets Group, to whom Deering will report. “That makes marketing more important than ever and Suzy’s world-class background will be vital to modernizing our approach, dialing-up our understanding of customer ambitions and redefining our brands to help us grow.”
“Technology will be a powerful part of Ford’s transformation and how we enhance and release the huge value of our iconic brands,” said Deering. “My team will be involved from end-to-end on behalf of customers – better connecting with them, using data to foresee and deliver what they need, and earning and keeping their trust.”
At eBay, Deering helped revive the global e-commerce company’s brand and enable a sharp increase in revenue over the past two years. Earlier, she was CEO of Moxie, a technology-led marketing agency, and spent 13 years at Verizon Wireless, the last two as executive director of Media, Engagements and Integrations. Deering holds a bachelor’s degree in Advertising from the University of Georgia.
In her final role at Ford, Cash, a company officer since 2016, has been responsible for driving worldwide vehicle quality processes from design through production, including for new-model launches.
Previous assignments included both vice president, Manufacturing, and director, Vehicle Operations, for Ford of Europe. During that period, Automotive News Europe named her one of the 25 leading women in the regional auto industry.
A steadfast advocate for customers, quality and safety, Cash has also long been an advisor and mentor to colleagues and a champion for diversity across the company, including through Women in Manufacturing and the Ford-Employees African-Ancestry Network. FAAN, as the latter is known, was started in 1994 as the first of the company’s multicultural employee-resource groups.
“Linda has always been an innovator,” said Galhotra. “She’s a remarkable leader and change agent, someone who can pivot quickly and effectively as circumstances evolve, and her contributions to Ford have been invaluable.”
An expert in lean manufacturing, among Cash’s earlier Ford roles were executive director of Global Vehicle Operations and chief engineer for final assembly, both in Manufacturing Engineering; executive director of the Global Manufacturing Business Office; plant manager of the Michigan Truck assembly facility; and director of North America Manufacturing Engineering.
Chris Brewer will assume Cash’s responsibilities for quality as executive director, Quality. The company earlier announced that Ron Johnson will take on product launch responsibilities. Both Brewer and Johnson will report to Lisa Drake, chief operating officer for North America.
Brewer, who has been with Ford since 1986, was most recently director, Vehicle Programs, for Trucks and SUVs. He has extensive experience leading product development programs, including for an all-new Transit commercial van for North America and Europe while based in Dunton, U.K. A Texas native, Brewer holds degrees in engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and business from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.