DETROIT: As expected, Ford has named Jim Vella its new VP of global
corporate communications, but the automaker is also bringing Joe
Greenwell to its Dearborn headquarters to fill a new position: VP of
global automotive and product promotions and associations.
Vella said the move was made because Ford needs to concentrate its
communications efforts on rebuilding its corporate reputation, and on
building its products' reputations as well. "Those are two significant
challenges the company faces on the corporate side," said Vella.
Observers attribute Greenwell's move to his ties with Nick Scheele, the
former head of Ford Europe, who has become COO under new CEO William
Clay Ford Jr. Greenwell had been Ford Europe's VP of communications and
public affairs, working closely with Scheele.
Vella, formerly executive director of corporate communications, has
close ties to Ford Jr. Each exec apparently wanted a PR person he was
comfortable with, observers said. The two will split duties handled by
former VP of communications Jason Vines, who left Ford when CEO Jac
Nasser was ousted.
Ford Jr. has already begun addressing reputation issues with employees,
dealers, suppliers, and shareholders, Vella said.
Ken Zino, former executive director of Ford trustmark communications and
global product development, has become executive director of strategy
and brand communications, and will work on global brand positioning,