William Kennard, a former US Federal Communications Commission chairman, has been appointed by America’s second largest automaker, Ford, to the company’s board.
The carmaker’s naming, with Kennard having extensive experience in dealing with the Washington representatives, shows Ford’s careful choosing – as the auto industry has been hit with numerous safety scandals this year and regulatory scrutiny has increased exponentially. According to a statement issued by Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford, Kennard, 57, will not get a new seat on the board, instead replacing director Homer Neal, after the latter has reached his mandatory retirement age. Kennard’s appointment would become effective at the start of 2015, one day after Neal steps down. The incoming executive is currently chairman and co-founder of Velocitas Partners LLC, an asset management firm and also served the White House administration as a US ambassador to the European Union.
According to the company, Ford’s Nominating and Governance Committee would be overseen by Kennard. Neal, on the other hand, is leaving the board ahead of his mandate’s end – which was due for completion in May 2015 – and he will have more time to focus on his other roles. He is also president-elect of the American Physical Society and a teacher at the University of Michigan, where he had various roles – including chair of the Department of Physics.