Ford’s new chief executive, Mark Fields, has started his first slew of major human resource changes at the carmaker. To start off, he named Kumar Galhotra, currently vice president of engineering, as president of the Lincoln brand, effective September 1, 2014. Galhotra will report directly to Fields. This marks the first time Lincoln has had its own president since 2007 when it was still part of the Lincoln-Mercury division.
In naming a new president for the brand, Fields said that “now is the right time for the next chapter in accelerating Lincoln as a world-class luxury brand.” He remarked that Gaholtra boasts of over 25 years of global product and business experience.
The move means that executive vice president of global sales Jim Farley will be relieved of his executive responsibility for Lincoln. Farley, however, will still be involved in Lincoln marketing. Farley is credited to pioneering a push for excellence in customer service.
Ford spokeswoman Susan Krusel noted it was Farley who recommended to Ford’s board that Lincoln should get a “totally dedicated leader.” Other personnel changes at Ford since Fields became CEO on July 1 include the appointment of Ken Washington as chief technical officer starting August 18. He is replacing 32-year Ford veteran Paul Mascarenas, who is going to retire on October 1.
With Galhotra as president of Lincoln, Ford will have a veteran engineer and product executive in charge taking care of business while the premium brand is getting ready to expand into China late this year.
Galhotra is not new to customers in Chia and Asia Pacific. He led Ford’s Asia Pacific product development organization from 2009 to 2013. He was responsible for a product offensive will result to the launch of about 50 new vehicles and powertrains in the region by 2015.
Galhotra also led program management and global product planning for Mazda in Japan from 2005 to 2008.