From 1st February Roelant de Waard will be Ford of Britain’s Chairman and Managing Director. Mr. de Waard, 43, was previously head of Ford of Europe’s customer service division. As Managing Director he is replacing Paul Thomas, who moves to become responsible for all of Ford's pan-European consumer advertising and product marketing communications, vehicle pricing and production programming as Vice-President of Marketing for Ford of Europe. As Chairman, de Waard replaces Roger Putnam, who retired at the end of 2005.
Thomas says that ‘leading Ford in Britain is an enormous and complex role for any manager’ and plans to apply everything he’s learned to his new European position. Stephen Odell, Vice-President of Marketing, Sales and Service for Ford of Europe, classifies the UK market as ‘one of the most brutally competitive in the world.’
De Waard has previously been Managing Director of Ford Netherlands and has worked in global marketing and product development jobs in the United States. Odell identifies de Waard as the architect of European Ford dealers’ new corporate identity and overseer of the development of their customer service business.