DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — The man who led Ford Motor Co.'s vehicle design team as the company retooled itself into a design leader is retiring.
J Mays, 59, is stepping down after 16 years at Ford and 33 years in the auto industry. He'll be replaced by longtime Ford design executive Moray Callum, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
Mays led development of designs that helped to turn Ford from a money-losing company with mostly boring products in 2006 to a company with coveted designs today. As group vice president and chief creative officer for design, he led development of the Ford Fusion, Focus, Fiesta, Taurus, Mustang and F-150, the statement said.
"The bold and sophisticated design language that J Mays pioneered will be visible for years to come in Ford vehicles and the auto industry overall," Mark Fields, chief operating officer, said in the statement.
Mays started at Ford in 1997 as vice president of design, and was named group vice president in 2003. The next year, he took on a larger role as chief creative officer.
Callum, 54, who now is executive director for design in the Americas, will take over for Mays as global design chief. Since 2006, he has supervised design studios in North and South America, including new Lincoln products such as the MKZ midsize sedan. He also led design of the Fusion, Explorer, Mustang, and EcoSport. From 2001 to 2006, he led the transformation of Mazda's design from bland to industry-leading. At the time Ford owned one-third of Mazda. He's been at Ford since 1995.
Dearborn-based Ford also announced several other management changes on Tuesday:
— Chief labor negotiator Marty Mulloy, 57, who bargained transformational contracts with the United Auto Workers union in 2007, 2009 and 2011 that cut Ford's costs, will retire after 34 years at Ford. Succeeding him as Vice President of Labor Affairs is Bill Dirksen, 53, who is now executive director of U.S. labor affairs.
— North American manufacturing chief Jim Tetreault, 58, will retire after more than 25 years with Ford. He'll be succeeded by Bruce Hettle, 52, now executive director of global vehicle operations, manufacturing engineering.
— Steven Armstrong, 49, was named president of Ford South America. He has been president of Ford of Brazil for the past 18 months and has been at Ford more than 25 years.
All the moves are effective Jan. 1, the company said.
Original headline: Ford's design chief J Mays set to retire
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