Sue Cischke, the safety and environmental chief of Ford Motor Co., is retiring after having spent 35 years in the auto industry. Replacing the 57-year-old Cischke is Robert Brown, Ford's current vice president of safety and environment for Europe. The appointment takes effect on Jan. 1. Ford said that Brown, who is 56 years old, will also be a company officer as part of the shift.
Cischke’s retirement will be effective on Feb. 1. Cischke and Felicia Fields (human resources chief), who are group vice presidents, are the top-ranking women at Ford.
In a statement, Ford CEO Alan Mulally said that Cischke is best example of a person who is “committed to being part of the solution.” He added that she is capable of bringing people together, finding common ground, and making progress on the big issues worldwide, specifically “environmental sustainability, energy independence and economic development.”
For more than 20 years, Cischke worked at Chrysler in different engineering roles. It was in 2001 that she joined Ford as its top environmental and safety officer. Brown started working for Ford in 1979 as a compliance engineer. He has been serving as the environmental regulatory manager in Washington, D.C. and he also aided in directing Ford's Automotive Safety Office.
In the past, he directed the Vehicle Environmental Engineering department. Ford has yet to name who will succeed him as the boss of safety and environmental issues in Europe. Brown is expected to report to Mulally. In the statement, Mulally said that Brown has the “right combination of skills and experience” to propel Ford in this significant area for the automaker and its stakeholders.