Ford veteran Galhotra takes over as North America chief

  • Ford veteran Galhotra takes over as North America chief

Ford veteran Galhotra takes over as North America chief

Nair's departure from Ford is one of the most prominent ousters outside the media and entertainment industries.

Raj Nair, executive vice president and president, North America, is departing from Ford effective immediately.

Hackett in a prepared statement said the company made its decision after completing a full review and careful consideration. "Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values", he added. Eventually, he was named president of Ford North America in July 2017.

The company is expected to move two current executives, Kumar Galhotra and Stuart Rowley, into new posts that cover the responsibilities Nair had as the head of North America, two people familiar with the matter said.

Ford Motor Company has ousted one of its top executives over allegations of inappropriate behaviour. Although high-profile firings clearly linked to the #MeToo movement have yet to materialize within the auto industry, Ford's chief executive officer did apologize late past year for harassment on the carmaker's factory floors. Prior to being named head of global product development, Nair oversaw engineering for all Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

Hackett, who joined Ford last May, warned employees at the end of past year that Ford had no tolerance for misconduct after The New York Times documented instances of sexual harassment at two plants in Chicago.

Nair has been with Ford for more than 30 years.

Brad Carroll, a Ford spokesman, declined to comment beyond a statement that said the company plans to name Mr Nair's replacement soon.

In August, the company agreed to pay as much as $10.1 million to settle sexual and racial harassment complaints following an investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. CEO Hackett responded with a letter on behalf of the company apologizing for instances where employees were subjected to harassment.

Ford has been working to affect a turnaround in its operations to improve profitability as its automotive profit margins have shrunk.

The news of the executive parting ways with Ford could not have come at a worse time, as "Ford is lacking a clear direction in terms of future mobility services".

Before becoming CMO following the departure of then-CEO Mark Fields previous year, Galhotra oversaw the revival of the Lincoln luxury brand. The company's margins have fallen behind rivals General Motors Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

Year to date, Ford shares are down 14 percent.