Ford quality chief to retire as CEO seeks to boost reliability | Rare Techy
DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co . top quality executive retires as company continues to struggle with high warranty claims and reliability issues.
Stuart Rowley, head of transformation and quality, is leaving after 32 years with the company. He will be replaced by Jim Baumbick, who is now vice president of product development and internal combustion engine programs, the company announced Wednesday.
“Quality is our No. 1 priority as a company, and Jim Baumbick is the right leader to deliver world-class quality and reliability at Ford,” CEO Jim Farley said in a statement.
Farley has complained about problems with quality, warranty claims, recalls and new vehicle launches since he was appointed CEO two years ago.
At the company’s annual shareholder meeting in May, Farley said the problems are affecting Ford’s financial results but also causing pain for customers.
“We’ve made more progress in terms of our launch quality and our initial quality, that was seen in the research and in our production ramping up,” Farley said at the meeting. “However, we are not at all satisfied with our quality metrics, including recalls and customer satisfaction efforts, which we urgently need to accelerate. “
Solving the problems will require the new talent the company has, as well as a culture change and better processes for managing engineering, manufacturing and supply chain, he said. “This is very frustrating for our customers and that’s why we are doing everything we can to adapt them with the right policies to support them in case of problems. You can be sure that this management is fully committed to improving our gap with the competition. We will make the company a benchmark,” he said.
Ford’s statement said Josh Halliburton, hired in January from research and data analytics firm JD Power as chief quality officer, will report to Baumbick.
According to Ford, the move will combine design, engineering, manufacturing and supply chain quality improvement efforts.
Rowley will retire on Dec. 1 after more than three decades at the automaker, where he held several positions, including CEO of North America and president of Ford Europe.
The change is one of several management moves the company announced Wednesday.
Joy Falotico, president of Lincoln’s luxury brand, is retiring after 33 years with the company. He will be replaced by Dianne Craig, who is currently president of the International Markets Group.
Steven Armstrong, vice president of transformation for India and South America, is also retiring after 35 years at Ford.
The moves come amid sweeping changes that Farley is leading at Ford, including splitting the company into electric vehicles and internal combustion engines.
In August, the company laid off 3,000 white-collar workers to cut costs and help make the long transition from internal combustion engine vehicles to battery power.
Governments around the world are trying to phase out combustion engine cars to mitigate the effects of climate change. Companies like Ford plan to phase out their combustion operations over several years, although they are still raising money to fund electric vehicle development.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, transcribed or distributed without permission.