Ford hires Visa veteran as Europe comms and public affairs chief

Elvira Schachermeier, Visa’s chief communications officer for Europe, has been appointed vice-president, communications and public affairs, at Ford of Europe.

Ford hires Visa veteran as Europe comms and public affairs chief

Elvira Schachermeier (pictured) replaces Susan Krusel, who is to retire on 1 October after more than 20 years career at the automotive company, including three years leading comms and public affairs for Ford of Europe.

Ford said Schachermeier will be responsible for continuing to build the company’s reputation and leading all internal and external communications initiatives in the region, including those relating to its sustainability initiatives in Europe.

Born in Germany, Schachermeier will be based in Cologne and report to Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe, also in Cologne; and Mark Truby, Ford’s chief communications officer, based in Dearborn, Michigan.

Schachermeier began her career at Visa in 2005, holding a variety of comms leadership roles, both in the US, starting in October 2005, and in Europe, since January 2017. In her most recent role, she was responsible for developing Visa’s European comms strategy and acting as a strategic advisor to the company’s senior leadership team. She led all related internal and external communications functions.

Truby said: “Elvira is a highly respected communications leader with a wealth of global experience. She will be an invaluable addition to our leadership team as Ford continues to execute our Ford+ plan to deliver great products and connected experiences for customers, and continues to build a profitably growing business in Europe.

“We are also grateful for Susan’s leadership and contributions to Ford’s success throughout her career – particularly her recent role in helping to lead our transformation in Europe – and wish her the best in her retirement.”

Schachermeier's connection with Visa began in June 2002 when she worked for Inovant LLC, the global IT services organisation for Visa’s operating companies, serving as director of communications.

She started her communications career at Special Broadcast Services in Sydney, Australia, as a television production manager for the 1994 World Cup. In 1996, she joined the PR and communications agency Wilson McHenry Company workingwith clients in the high-tech, financial services and retail sectors.

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