A fifth-generation member of the Ford family has been promoted vice-president of the eponymous US carmaker. Elena Ford is also poised to take the wheel of a new division managing strategy and customer service at Ford dealerships in March.
The 46-year-old has worked as a marketing director at the family business for the past four years. With her recent promotion, Ford will become the first family member to become a vice-president since fourth-gen Bill Ford, 55, became head of the truck division in 1994 – he is now executive chairman of the company.
In her new role Ford will report to James Farley, who heads the marketing division – she also worked under Farley in her former job. As well as improving customer service, Ford will oversee the company's global order-to-delivery system, which aims to improve vehicle quality and delivery times between Ford factories and dealerships.
Farley said in a statement: “Elena Ford is the perfect leader to work with our global dealers and to help realise the opportunity we have in upgrading the consumer experience there.”
He added: “Elena has extensive experience in global marketing, and her passion for our dealers is well-known around the world.”
The Ford family controls the company through 71 million Class B shares – which accounts for about 40% of the firm's voting rights. Ford had revenues of $36.5 billion (€27.4 billion) in 2012.