Ford announces executive appointments

Ford Motor Company today announced that Lewis Booth has been named president and chief operating officer of Ford Europe and that John Parker has been named executive vice president and assistant to the president at Mazda Motor Corporation.

Ford Motor Company today announced that Lewis Booth has been named president and chief operating officer of Ford Europe and that John Parker has been named executive vice president and assistant to the president at Mazda Motor Corporation. Separately, Mazda's Board of Directors has elected Hisakazu Imaki as its president and chief executive officer, the details of which are being announced simultaneously. All appointments are effective immediately.

Booth, 54, succeeds Martin Leach, who resigned from Ford earlier this month. Booth will report to David Thursfield, executive vice president, International Operations and Global Purchasing. Booth had been Mazda's president and chief executive officer. Parker, 55, will succeed Imaki, 60, who was executive vice president and chief engineering and manufacturing officer at Mazda. Previously, Parker was president of Ford's ASEAN Operations, based in Bangkok.

"These appointments strengthen Ford's position in Europe and Asia," Thursfield said. "Lewis Booth has had broad experience in many regions across the Ford world and is no stranger to our operations in Europe. We're glad to see his return."

"Backed by an experienced team in Europe, many of whom he has known for years, Lewis is in a great position to address the challenges we face in Europe and to spur us back into a position of sustained profitability."

"Imaki-san," Thursfield continued, "brings the continuity we seek to strengthen the strong progress that Mazda has made in recent years. He will be greatly aided by John Parker, whose global experience and strong ties to Ford Motor Company will certainly benefit Mazda."

"I couldn't leave Mazda in better hands," said Booth. "I have worked closely with Imaki-san and know his capabilities well. The leadership team at Mazda is very fortunate to have Imaki-san and John at the helm. But this is a homecoming for me, and I am looking forward to renewing the associations that I previously had enjoyed and valued. I know the challenges our industry is facing in Europe and in many other regions around the world. I believe my years of experience elsewhere at Ford, as well as at Mazda, a global company itself, strengthens my abilities to do the job that David has entrusted to me."

Richard Parry-Jones, group vice president, product development, and chief technical officer and a member of the Mazda Advisory Board, noted, The Mazda global line-up has never been better, and the new team is in great shape to see the benefits from the work that has been done. We're very pleased with the progress Mazda has made."

Booth, a Ford Motor Company vice president, joined Mazda in 2002 as senior advisor of corporate strategy. Prior to that appointment, he was president Asia Pacific and Africa Operations, a position he held from January 2002. He had responsibilities for South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and India and for developing Ford's strategy in the Asia-Pacific region. He joined Ford in 1978 as a financial analysis coordinator with Product Development in Ford Europe, and during the 1980's and early 1990's held a series of management positions in Britain and Germany in Finance, Truck Operations, Product Development, Manufacturing and Sales.

Parker began his duties as president of Ford's ASEAN Operations in December 2001 and is responsible for Ford's operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand. Prior to this position, Parker was head of Ford Lio Ho in Taiwan for two years.

Parker joined Ford in South Africa in March 1965 and held a number of positions before his initial assignment in Taiwan, where he rose to director, Technical Operations. In 1989, he was assigned to Australia, where he became vice president, Product Development. He also served as president of Ford India from 1994-98.

Ford acquired a 25 percent equity stake in Mazda in 1979 and increased its stake to 33.4 percent in 1996.

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