New Ford CEO Jim Farley is making a change at the top of the automaker’s marketing department on his first day on the job as part of a larger management overhaul. Joy Falotico, chief marketing officer since 2018, will step down from the role to focus on her other job leading the company’s Lincoln brand.
Ford said it would name a new CMO “shortly.” A spokesman confirmed to Ad Age that the automaker would be hiring someone from outside the company but declined to give more details.
Farley, who assumes the CEO role today after serving as chief operating officer, is known to take an intense interest in the company’s marketing. He has a marketing background, joining the company in 2007 as group VP for marketing and communications. He was known to be influential in overhauling Ford’s agency relationships in 2018 when the company demoted WPP’s longtime dedicated Ford shop, GTB, while bringing on BBDO and Wieden+Kennedy. W+K has since won the majority of the most prestigious assignments in the U.S., including a new campaign with a patriotic bent called “Built for America” that touts its U.S. manufacturing footprint.
By installing a dedicated CMO—without a shared title like Falotico had—Farley is signaling he wants to give more heft to the role. Falotico came to the job without much marketing experience, having previously served as CEO of Ford Credit.
In a statement today, Ford said Falotico would now be “dedicated solely to further growing Ford’s luxury brand [Lincoln].”