Ford Retirements Set Off String of Exec Changes

Motor Company says the retirement of two global leaders. Bruce Hettle and Steve Biegun will result in management shuffles in Labor and Government Affairs.

Bruce Hettle, Ford group vice president of Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, will retire Oct. 1. Succeeding Hettle will be Gary Johnson, Ford vice president for North America Manufacturing.Steve Biegun, Ford vice president of International Government Affairs, to retire Aug. 31. Curt Magleby to lead Ford Government and Community Relations on an interim basis (translation Ford is searching for a replacement – probably an outsider.) Michael Sheridan will lead International Government Affairs.

Gary Johnson, 54, will take leadership of Ford’s Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs activities, overseeing the global operations of 67 assembly, stamping and powertrain plants. Johnson is also responsible for worldwide engineering support for stamping, vehicle and powertrain manufacturing, as well as material planning, logistics, the Ford production system, and labor affairs. He will report to Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president, Global Operations.

A 32-year Ford veteran, Johnson has served in a variety of roles, including as vice president, Manufacturing, for both North America and Asia Pacific. While leading manufacturing in Asia, Johnson oversaw the construction of 10 new manufacturing facilities in the region – seven in China, two in India and one in Thailand – the Ford’s largest expansion in 50 years.

Curt Magleby, 59,  retiring vice president of U.S. Government Relations joined Ford in 1988 and has served in a variety of automotive and public policy roles around the world.

Reporting to Magleby, Michael Sheridan, 55, will lead Ford’s International Government Affairs, working with governments – some of them demonstrably corrupt – around the globe, as well as overseeing the Ford’s trade strategy and political risk assessment. (Welcome to the Trump amusement park with circuses, clowns, and crooks riding a variety of roller coasters simultaneously.) Sheridan has served in a variety of roles in both Washington, D.C., and Canada in his 31 years with Ford.

Sheridan most recently served as director of Global Trade Strategy and Policy leading Ford’s global trade strategy as well as the government relations teams in Canada, Mexico and South America.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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