Mike Bannister, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Credit, will retire Jan. 1, the automaker announced.
Bannister, 62, leaves after 39 years with the Dearborn-based company and will be succeeded by Bernard Silverstone.
Silverstone, 56, has been with Ford Credit for 33 years and plans to continue the current strategies while expanding to support growth in areas such as China were Ford is investing heavily to build more Ford vehicles and plans to introduce the Lincoln brand in the second half of 2014 with a new network of dealers.
Bannister oversaw Ford's financial arm during years when Ford Credit was the automaker's main profit generator. And he has seen the rise and fall of the popularity of leasing vehicles.
Ford Credit has been profitable under his tenure and Bannister helped with the automaker's transition to a more global company under Ford CEO Alan Mulally.
"Mike Bannister is an absolutely world class business leader who knows how to bring people together to deliver outstanding results," Mulally said in a statement.
"We are so grateful for Mike's longstanding service to Ford, and we know that employees and dealers around the world will long treasure his partnership and leadership," Mulally said.
Bannister joined Ford Credit in 1973 and over the course of his career he ran Ford Credit Europe and then oversaw Ford Credit International, leading operations in Asia Pacific Europe and Latin America. He was promoted to president and chief operating officer of Ford Credit and in 2004 assumed the top job as chief executive.
Bannister said he leaves as the company is "well positioned and ready to help write the next chapter of the Ford story."
Silverstone was promoted to chief operating officer in January and his career path mirrors that of Bannister's in overseeing operations around the world after joining Ford Credit Britain in 1979.
"Mike is one of the most respected leaders in our business," Silverstone said. "I am honored to continue guiding Ford Credit along the path set by Mike and our leadership team. I look forward to an even closer working relationship with Ford and supporting the company's plan toward profitable growth for all with unparalleled support for our dealers and customers
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