Ford names Liz Door from Whirlpool, GM chief supply chain officer


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Jan 12, 2024

Ford names Liz Door from Whirlpool, GM chief supply chain officer

Ford Motor Co. named Liz Door its new chief supply chain officer Tuesday, while

Ford Motor Co. named Liz Door its new chief supply chain officer Tuesday, while at the same time announcing the departure of three executives in key roles after a fourth top executive left in April.

Door, who spent the last six years leading global strategic sourcing at Whirlpool Corp. based in Benton Harbor, will report to Chief Financial Officer John Lawler starting Monday. Lawler held dual roles since September on an interim basis. Prior to a total of 12 years at Whirlpool, Door spent 15 years at General Motors in purchasing and supply chain roles.

Last month, Lawler said the company "has a lot of work to do" with supply chain and auto parts supplier relations while Ford CEO Jim Farley said good supplier relations are essential to executing strategy. Ford ranked in a 2023 industry study among the worst companies based on trust, integrity and clarity of mission with auto parts suppliers.

"Door comes to Ford at a time when improving quality and reducing costs, including through the supply chain, are high priorities and vital to realizing the full potential of the Ford+ plan," the company said in a news release.

At Whirlpool, Door headed North American procurement for more than six years and then became executive vice president of global strategic sourcing and a member of the home appliance maker's executive committee in 2017.

"Those roles placed her in the middle of Whirlpool reimagining and developing smart, networked kitchen and laundry products embedded with sensors, software and other new technologies — in the same way Ford is creating breakthrough digital platforms and software for adoption across connected electric, hybrid and gas vehicles," the release said.

"Liz brings deep, relevant domain experience — including leveraging the Internet of Things to create great value for customers — from both outside and inside the global auto industry," Lawler said in the news release. "That's an ideal combination for leading a team that's determined to restore supply chain management as a competitive advantage for Ford."

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Door began her career with Prince Corp., now part of Johnson Controls technology, software and services conglomerate, as a resident quality engineer at a Chrysler assembly plant in St. Louis, Missouri. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from Michigan State University.

"Ford and our suppliers will win together by delivering fresh, high-quality products for our customers," Door said in a statement. "We’re going to expand the use of advanced quality planning throughout the supply portfolio."

Kiersten Robinson, general manager of family vehicles and Ford Blue president of Mexico and Canada operations, will retire effective July 1.

Robinson began her 28-year career in labor relations and spent most of it in human resources — in Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe and North America — including four years as Ford chief human resources officer and head of Ford Land. Last year, she moved to an operational role in Ford Blue, which develops, makes and sells gas and hybrid vehicles.

"Kiersten uses her expertise in people and systems to find solutions that are good for the business, our customers and our teams," said Kumar Galhotra, the president of Ford Blue. "She's a great listener who brings global perspective and empathy to large-scale change."

Robinson has been "central to expanding Ford's attention to diversity, equity and inclusion," introducing benefits such as parental leave for both mothers and fathers. Leading human resources was not without controversy, including a federal lawsuit citing internal corporate emails that alleged Ford targeted high-performing older workers that was settled by Ford.

Robinson joined Ford in 1995 in Australia, her home country, had progressively larger HR assignments during periods of growth in Asia Pacific and Europe, and moved to the Dearborn headquarters in 2002. Her responsibilities shift to Andrew Frick, Ford Blue's vice president of sales, distribution and trucks. Frick's operational role will now span all of North America and his general management responsibilities will expand to include SUVs in addition to trucks, Ford said.

Jonathan Jennings leaves his role as vice president of supply chain effective Aug. 1.

Jennings, a point man for Ford suppliers, started as a manufacturing engineer at the former Cleveland Casting Plant in 1993. He has worked in various positions globally, leading "strategic initiatives" and "helping hundreds of suppliers reach and maintain manufacturing readiness," Ford said in a statement. "But the greatest challenges for Jennings and his supply chain management colleagues have been over the past three years."

Lawler said in the announcement, "Our industry and others have been pummeled by issues caused by the pandemic, natural disasters and extraordinary demand for new technology. Jonathan's firsthand relationships with vendors have helped us navigate often severe limits on volumes of semiconductors, batteries and even basic parts in order to best meet the needs of customers."

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Jennings said, "Ford is different from most organizations in that, even though it's one of the largest in the world, this remains a people-focused company that cares for customers and colleagues in the best and most difficult of times."

Trevor Worthington, head of all Ford Blue vehicle programs, retired at the end of April, Ford previously announced. The company revealed that Tim Slatter replaced Worthington in the new role on June 1. Slatter will be involved in strategy and cycle planning for Ford Blue, Ford Performance and Ford Motor Sports.

Slatter reports to Jim Baumbick, Ford Blue's vice president of product development operations and quality. Slatter has been with Ford 25 years and worked in China and Australia. He most recently was vehicle line director for buses and vans in Ford of Europe and chair of Ford of Britain. He’ll continue to direct U.K. operations until his successor in that position is in place, Ford said.

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Dave Bozeman, who joined Ford in September from Amazon Transportation to be vice president of the global Ford customer service division and enthusiast vehicles product line in Ford Blue that focuses on gasoline-powered products, will leave the company June 16 to become CEO at C.H. Robinson global logistics. The freight transportation, transportation management, brokering and warehousing company based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, recorded $25 billion in revenue last year, Ford said.

Previously, Bozeman held senior transportation, logistics and engineering roles at Caterpillar and Harley-Davidson. On Tuesday, Bozeman's image was posted on the C.H. Robinson home page touting news of the hire.

"I’m grateful to Ford and my colleagues for their generosity and teamwork this past year and could not be more confident about the company's plan and prospects for success," Bozeman said. "My experiences here will be invaluable as I help another great global company with its next phase of growth."

Contact Phoebe Wall Howard: 313-618-1034 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @phoebesaid

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