Ford shuffles executive suite

April 22, 2004 at 5:52 PM

DEARBORN, Mich., April 22 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co. Thursday named Jim Padilla chief operating officer and chairman of automotive operations in a major executive shakeup.

Padilla, 57, was promoted from head of North and South American operations in a series of changes. Nick Scheele, 60, will remain Ford Motor Co. president overseeing global product creation and information technology.

David Thursfield, 58, will retire as head of international purchasing and European operations effective May 1. He will remain as a consultant to Ford Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford Jr.

Mark Fields, 43, head of the Premier Auto Group, will add the job of executive vice president Ford Europe. Ford Motor Credit chief Greg Smith, 52, was named executive vice president and president, The Americas.

Ford reported first-quarter profits of nearly $2 million Wednesday.

"Now that Ford Motor Co. is solidly back in the game, I want to do everything possible to help us win," said Padilla, a 37-year Ford veteran.

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