Ford names replacements as North America chief steps down

By Sara Shayanian and Danielle Haynes  |  Updated Feb. 22, 2018 at 2:20 PM
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Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Ford announced Kumar Galhotra as the new president of its North American division Thursday after the former chief stepped down following an investigation into reports of inappropriate behavior.

Ford CEO and President Jim Hackett said Galhotra would serve as president and vice president of Ford North America beginning March 1.

"Kumar is an incredibly talented executive with a special feel for product and brand. He is also a seasoned leader who knows how to drive a business transformation," said Jim Farley, executive vice president and president of Global Markets. "Kumar is the right person to lead our North American business to new levels of operational fitness, product and brand excellence, and profitability."

The company announced Wednesday that former Ford North America President Raj Nair immediately exited the company after a review of his behavior showed he was "inconsistent with the company's code of conduct."

Ford began the investigation into Nair after an anonymous complaint was made from within the company.

"We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration," Hackett said. "Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values."

Although Ford didn't reveal the details behind Nair's departure, his exit comes as a slew of prominent men have been ousted from their positions over allegations of misconduct, including actor Kevin Spacey and clothing designer Paul Marciano.

Nair -- who has been president of Ford North America since June 2017 -- also served as head of the automaker's product development and chief technical officer.

"I sincerely regret that there have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviors consistent with the principles that the Company and I have always espoused," Nair said. "I continue to have the utmost faith in the people of Ford Motor Company and wish them continued success in the future."

Ford also named Joy Falotico as group vice president of Lincoln Motor Company and chief market officer; Stuart Rowley as vice president and chief operating officer of Ford North America; David McClellan as vice president of Ford Motor Company and CEO of Ford Credit; John Lawler as vice president of Strategy; and Cathy O'Callaghan as vice president and corporate controller, and CFO of Global Markets.

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