Ford Motor Co. has named Barb Samardzich as chief operating officer of Ford of Europe. Samardzich, who is currently the vice president of European product development, will assume the post on November 1, 2013. The appointment is part of a series of management shuffles that Ford did recently, most of them in the United States.
In her new role, Samardzich will be responsible for manufacturing, product development, purchasing and environment and safety engineering at Ford of Europe. Samardzich will still report to Stephen Odell, president of Ford of Europe. Samardzich joined Ford in 1990 and was vice president of powertrain engineering from 2005 until 2011 when she transferred to Europe.
She was also the executive director of vehicle product development from 2002 to 2005 and chief engineer for F-series Super Duty commercial trucks. Replacing Samardzich in her role as vice president of European product development is Joe Bakaj, vice president of powertrain engineering.
Bakaj's position will be assumed by Bob Fascetti, currently director of global engine engineering. Bakaj will report to Raj Nair, group vice president of global product development. Odell remarked during the Frankfurt auto show that Ford of Europe will post a profit in 2015, after the carmaker narrowed its loss forecast for the unit into about $1.8 billion. Alan Baum, an independent auto analyst, told Automotive News that Europe is "dragging down" Ford from a financial standpoint.