The duties of Ford Motor Co.’s global product program chief Barb Samardzich are expanding to include head of product development for the entire European market. The 52-year-old will retain her position as vice president of Ford's global product programs, a job that she had been on since Jan. 1. She will need to relocate to Europe to fulfill these additional duties, which will begin on Sept. 1.
A Ford spokesman said that in this new capacity as vice president of product development for Ford of Europe, Samardzich will have a vital role in the development of global models like the Focus.
Ford develops its global car platforms in Cologne, Germany. Samardzich will still report directly to Derrick Kuzak, who serves as Ford's group vice president of global product development, and also to Stephen Odell, CEO of Ford of Europe.
She is the replacement for Frank Davis who held this post since Jan. 1 and is moving to North America for a new position. Previously, Kuzak was the vice president of product development in Ford of Europe where he oversaw the design and engineering of vehicles that made up a major portion of the European market and big growth areas in the emerging markets.
As head of global product programs, Samardzich is required to launch all Ford and Lincoln products in a timely manner and within budget. They also have to comply with internal quality standards and to hit safety goals.