Ford Motor, the second largest US automaker, announced that Mark LaNeve, formerly one of GM’s high ranking sales executives, will become the company’s new US sales, marketing and service boss starting with February 1.
According to Ford, LaNeve, 55, comes to fill the position previously held by John Felice, who elected to retire from the post after holding it for just 15 months. Felice “has elected to retire” following a 30-year career with the blue oval brand. LaNeve’s appointment alos comes just a week after Stephen Odell became Ford’s global sales, service and marketing head – exchanging positions with Jim Farley, who is now the new chief of Ford of Europe. While position changes and top manager retirements are nothing new, we can also note that Felice leaves the automaker after a year in which Ford’s US sales have not been rosy, with the company losing one full point of its local market share – now at 14.9 percent, the lowest level since 2008. Overall, sales dropped just 0.6% in 2014, with the executives saying the situation was created by the turnover of its most important model, the new generation of the aluminum intensive F-150 pickup. But it’s also important to note that overall the US auto industry finished the year up 2014 from the same period of 2013.
Ford has tasked LaNeve with oversight across all marketing, sales, service and dealer relations in the US, with a focus on “innovative new digital communications and transforming the retail experience for customers.” He will jointly report to Odell and to Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas. Before coming to the automaker, LaNeve departed from General Motors soon after the latter’s 2009 bankruptcy, joining insurance giant Allstate Corp. for almost three years. Since August 2012 he was running as COO of Ford’s advertising agency, Global Team Ford.
Via Automotive News Europe