Stephen Odell to become head of Ford of Europe once Ford's sale of Volvo to Geely is completed

Ford of Europe has appointed Volvo boss Stephen Odell as its new chairman and CEO as part of a wider management shake-up at Ford Motor Company.

Odell will succeed John Fleming in the role when Ford’s sale of Volvo to Geely closes, which is expected to happen by the end of September. Fleming will move to head up Ford’s global manufacturing and labour affairs operation.

“Stephen did an outstanding job leading Volvo back to profitability and has a strong record of delivering results for Ford of Europe,” said Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally.

“We are thrilled that he will be returning to lead Ford of Europe to build upon the tremendous foundation of great products and profitable growth we have in the region.”

Odell has been at Ford since 1980 and took his most recent position of Volvo CEO in September 2008. He will be responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford vehicles in 51 markets, as well as overseeing Ford’s export operations and global growth initiatives.

Fleming will be responsible for 80 Ford plants around the world, as well as providing engineering support for stamping, vehicle and powertrain manufacturing.

“During the past five years, John’s strong leadership has been critical to Ford of Europe’s continued product and financial resurgence,” Mulally said. “As a world-class manufacturing executive, he will play an equally vital role as we drive toward industry leadership in efficient, high quality manufacturing worldwide and work with our labour unions to remain fully competitive with the best in the world.”

Ford has also announced group vice president Jim Farley will take on responsibility for Ford’s global sales, marketing and servicing. Volvo’s chief financial officer Stuart Rowley will take on the same job at Ford of Europe after Volvo’s sale.

Li Shufu, chairman of Geely, has today been named as chairman of Volvo. Former Volvo CEO Hans-Olov Olsson has been named as vice-chairman.

Elsewhere, Ford of Mexico boss Eduardo Serrano has become head of Ford’s Mexican and South American operations.

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