Ford of Britain chairman and managing director Roelant de Waard has been promoted to Ford of Europe vice president for sales.
He takes up the new position from January 1 after being head of Ford's UK operations since February 2006.
De Waard’s dual role in the UK will now be split with Nigel Sharp moving from sales director to managing director and Joe Greenwell, currently Ford of Europe vice president of governmental affairs, becoming chairman. Jon Wellsman takes Sharp's old seat, from his current post as director product marketing at Ford of Europe.
The reason behind the structural change is a broader remit for the new chairman, said de Waard.
“In the current environment there are a lot of non-operational areas, for example the funding request to government, that need working on and which are time consuming, specific and difficult to do at the same time,” he said.
“We have to get our voice heard very strongly and we don’t believe there is a full understanding of the magnitude of the issues facing the industry so we have to step up our work dramatically.”
Greenwell, who will be responsible for stepping up that work, is also the incoming president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (from January 1) and president of the industry charity BEN.
Sharp has risen steadily up the ranks at Ford, with senior roles in marketing, sales and finance across Europe before joining Ford of Britain in 2006, including stints as managing director of its operations in Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Turkey.
"Roelant has done an excellent job of leading the Ford of Britain organisation since February 2006. With these appointments, we are putting in place the final elements of a re-organisation of our sales organisation which we started planning following Stephen Odell's move to Volvo earlier this year," said Ingvar Sviggum, vice-president, marketing, sales and service, Ford of Europe.
"We have created a structure which, under Roelant's leadership, will allow us to maximise our sales opportunities across all of the 51 markets in which Ford of Europe is now represented."