Henry Ford Heir Named to Top Customer Service Post at Automaker

(Bloomberg) -- Elena Ford, the highest-ranking female heir of Ford Motor Co.-founder Henry Ford, was named to the newly created position of chief customer experience officer for the automaker as it works to reverse sinking profit and a falling stock price.

Ford, 52, the great-great-granddaughter of the founder and the granddaughter of Henry Ford II, who led the company for decades after World War II, has been a marketing executive at the company she joined in 1995. Most recently she served as vice president of customer experience and global dealers. In her new role, she will be in charge of “creating a world-class customer experience throughout the entire ownership cycle,” the company said in a statement.

The automaker this month changed ad agencies and announced salaried staff cuts as it seeks to boost profit that fell by more than half in the second quarter. Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett is engineering an $11 billion restructuring to reduce losses overseas, update Ford’s aging model line and prepare for the arrival of self-driving and electric cars that are expected to upend transportation. As Ford redefines itself and exits the traditional sedan business, it is trying to maintain relationships with its customers.

“Our goal is to be the most trusted company,” Ford said in a statement. “For our loyal customers, that could mean a faster oil change, a more intuitive app or an easier way to schedule servicing.”

Ford will report to Joe Hinrichs, president of the automaker’s global operations. The company also named John Savona, a 29-year veteran of the automaker, as vice president of North American manufacturing.

The company is led by Executive Chairman Bill Ford, great-grandson of the founder.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.