Ford in need of VP public affairs but lacks frontrunner

DETROIT: Ford is on the hunt for a new head of PR following the surprise announcement that VP of public affairs Vaughn Koshkarian has been promoted within the company.

DETROIT: Ford is on the hunt for a new head of PR following the surprise announcement that VP of public affairs Vaughn Koshkarian has been promoted within the company.

DETROIT: Ford is on the hunt for a new head of PR following the

surprise announcement that VP of public affairs Vaughn Koshkarian has

been promoted within the company.



Word of Koshkarian’s new role as VP of Ford/Asia Pacific was included in

a major reorganization announced Oct. 15. Ford CEO Jacques Nasser is

creating four global regions for the auto giant - effectively scrapping

a plan put in place by his predecessor - and transferring more authority

to the heads of those regions.



Koshkarian, who had headed up Ford’s China operations before being

called back to the company’s Dearborn, MI headquarters to take over PR,

will now oversee Asian operations. The move is effective January 1.



While Koshkarian has five direct reports within the 200-strong Ford PR

group, industry sources see no clear frontrunner to replace him,

especially given recent defections. Judith Muhlberg, once seen as a

possible candidate for the top spot, became VP of communications with

Boeing, while John Spelich, Ford’s director of global news and

information, became Gateway’s director of worldwide corporate

communications in early July.



Ford may look outside the company to replace Koshkarian, although a wave

of change in auto PR this year has left few visible candidates for such

a major position.



’There’s not really someone who stands out,’ said David Cole, director

of the office for the study of automotive transportation at the

University of Michigan. All Ford will say officially is that no plan has

been announced and no search firm has been retained. Korn Ferry, a

search firm that Ford has worked with in the past, has not been

contacted.



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