Putnam (60) will also serve on the board's audit, nominations and remuneration committees.
He will retire from his position with Ford on December 31.
Putnam has previously held board positions with Lotus and Jaguar Cars Limited where he was the director of global sales and marketing from 1985 to 2002. He is also currently president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, a member of the CBI's President's Committee, an assistant on the Court of the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harnessmakers, and chairman of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust.
He also recently served on the MG Rover task force, chairs the DTI Retail Motor Strategy Group and is also a non executive director of Halcyon Days Limited.