Ford's Codina to Leave Automaker

30-Year Vet Was Group VP-Marketing, Sales and Service in North America

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DETROIT ( -- Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Co., today said that Francisco "Cisco" Codina, group VP-marketing, sales and service in North America, is retiring Nov. 1 after 30 years with the automaker.
Francisco Codina
Francisco Codina Credit: Ford Motor Co.

The Cuban native moved to the U.S. in 1965 and joined Ford in 1977. His career includes stints as VP of Ford's customer service division, general marketing manager for Ford Division and president of Ford of Argentina. He assumed his current post in March 2006.

Return to old tagline?
The move comes as Ford tries to improve commercial messaging for its volume brands in North America. Mr. Mullaly repeatedly has said he wants to bring back "Have you driven a Ford Lately?" to advertising.

Ford has not named a successor to Mr. Codina, although the company said it would look inside and outside the company for a replacement.

"Cisco's passion and dedication to Ford will be missed," Mark Fields, president of the Americas, said in a statement. "Under Cisco's leadership, we began to stabilize our retail market share, energize our dealers, improve the resale value of our vehicles and speak with a more confident tone in our marketing."

Ford also elevated two other executives: John Parker, 59, becomes exec VP-Asia Pacific and Africa from group VP, and Michael Bannister becomes exec VP and chairman-CEO of Ford Motor Credit Co. from group VP. Mr. Parker has been reporting directly to Mr. Mullaly since late last year.

Reorganized marketing staff
Two months ago, Mr. Codina reorganized the marketing arm of Ford Division, the company's biggest-selling brand, after the automaker lost roughly 30% of its U.S. salaried workforce this year through early retirements and voluntary opt-out packages.

"We are trying to make sure we are organized to be really efficient with fewer people," a spokesman for Ford Division told Advertising Age at the time, calling the setup more streamlined. Lincoln Mercury's structure won't change because the brands have lower sales and fewer models.
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