Ford Names Farley as Marketing Chief

Toyota Veteran Served as General Manager of Lexus Brand

By Published on .

Most Popular
DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Jim Farley, a marketing star at Toyota Motor Corp., is joining Ford Motor Co. as group VP-marketing and communications, Automotive News reports today.
Jim Farley
Jim Farley

Mr. Farley, 45, joins Ford in mid-November. He will be Ford's senior marketing officer and will report to CEO Alan Mulally.

In a statement, Mr. Mulally said Mr. Farley will bring "world-class marketing" to Ford.

First major hire for new CEO
After 13 months on the job, Mr. Mulally is making his first significant outside hire in Mr. Farley. Ford has been looking for a global marketing officer for several months.

"We are thrilled to welcome one of the most successful and talented leaders in the industry to the Ford Motor Co. team," Mr. Mulally said in the statement. "Jim Farley is well-known for innovative marketing strategies that connect great products to today's and tomorrow's customers."

Mr. Farley spent 17 years at Toyota Motor Sales USA, most recently as general manager of Lexus Division. He previously was group VP-marketing for Toyota Division. Mr. Farley also oversaw the launch of Toyota's youth subbrand, Scion.

Global reach
Mr. Mulally said Mr. Farley will work with Ford's worldwide business units and global product development organization. Mr. Farley will oversee Ford's global communications and public relations operations. He will lead Ford's efforts to connect more closely with customers through integrated marketing, advertising, digital communications, brand development, product planning, research, product communications and public relations.

Mr. Mulally said Mr. Farley will have two priorities.

"The first one being to share the story, the wonderful story of Ford -- the improvement in quality, the global product, the new cars, the crossovers, the SUVs, just to capture the excitement," Mr. Mulally said.

"Another priority equally, is to join [Ford global product development chief] Derrick [Kuzak] and the product development team as a partner to bring marketing and product development together to create the future cars and trucks that people really do want and value."

More changes to come
Ford continues to seek a successor to Cisco Codina, who retired last month as the company's group VP-North American marketing, sales and service.

Mr. Farley said he is eager to get started.

"My connection with Ford goes way back to my first car, a 1966 Ford Mustang," Mr. Farley said in the statement. "I bought it when I was 15, restored it and drove it from California to Michigan. I am excited to make that trip once again."

Mr. Mulally, who has criticized Ford marketing decisions, challenged the company's marketing leaders late last year to do a better job of promoting product in 2007. That resulted in Ford shifting away from the "Bold Moves" campaign launched in 2006 in favor of the "Ford Challenge" promotion it has been using.

Mr. Mulally said he wants to tune up the quality of Ford marketing, but didn't expect to increase the budget.

"We have a good investment today," he said. "I don't see that changing too much."

Toyota's revolving door
Mr. Farley's exit from Toyota is the latest of several high-profile departures of U.S. executives from the Japanese automaker in the past few months.

Last month, Jim Press left as president of Toyota Motor North America to become co-president and vice chairman of Chrysler. Mr. Press had been Toyota's top-ranking North American executive.

In August, Deborah Wahl Meyer defected from Toyota, where she had been marketing VP, Lexus Division, to become Chrysler's chief marketing officer.

Jim Lentz, executive VP of Toyota Motor Sales USA, said Mr. Farley's hiring by Ford "shows how highly the industry prizes the talent, knowledge and experience" of Toyota executives.

"Toyota has an amazingly deep bench, and the new promotions provided an opportunity to reward a number of top performers," Mr. Lentz said.

Mark Templin, Toyota Division's VP, Scion, succeeds Farley as Lexus general manager. Scion corporate manager Jack Hollis succeeds Templin. Dawn Ahmed, Toyota Division's national cross-vehicle marketing manager, replaces Mr. Hollis.
In this article: