Ford Motor Company recently announced key global leadership changes. Jacques Brent, currently president, Ford Middle East and Africa, is appointed to the new global position of director, Product Marketing, effective June 1. This move is part of Ford’s push to transform its marketing organisation to drive greater efficiency, effectiveness and customer insight – leveraging the latest tools and technology.
The company also announced that Mark Ovenden, currently vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Asia Pacific, will succeed Brent as president, Ford Middle East and Africa, effective June 1. In this role, Ovenden will be responsible for driving growth in the company’s Middle East and Africa operations across more than 70 markets.
“We are making key leadership changes that will help us accelerate our growth in Middle East and Africa and reshape our global marketing organization,” said Jim Hackett, Ford Motor Company president and CEO. “
Brent, 48, will assume responsibility for Ford’s global product marketing activities, working to improve the product planning process, representing the voice of the customer and closely aligning with Product Development. He will report to Joy Falotico, group vice president, The Lincoln Motor Company and chief marketing officer.
Brent has served as president, Ford Middle East and Africa, since 2016, coming over from Shanghai, where he oversaw the marketing activities of 12 major markets as vice president, Marketing, Asia Pacific. Over his 20-year career, Brent has accumulated deep marketing expertise from serving in multiple global assignments spanning three continents.
Under Brent’s leadership, Ford Middle East and Africa continued to develop its long-term regional strategy, including strengthening its retail footprint and distributor partnerships, expanding its assembly operations in South Africa, and growing its customer-centric product offerings.
Ovenden, 53, takes over leadership of Ford Middle East and Africa after 33 years with the company serving in a variety of marketing and sales positions globally. He will relocate to Dubai and report to Steven Armstrong, Ford group vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The Middle East and Africa market offers a tremendous long-term opportunity for the company. Under Ovenden’s direction, Ford will continue to focus on improving operational fitness, growing the business across the many diverse markets in which it operates, and working with its dealers and partners to further develop its customer base. Ovenden also will work with the regional team to ensure Ford remains an integral part of the communities where it has a presence.
Ovenden most recently served as vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Asia Pacific. When appointed to this role and elected a company officer in 2017, he took on responsibility for leading the marketing, sales and service functions across the Asia Pacific region. Over his career, Ovenden has served as president and CEO, Ford Sollers, Ford’s joint venture in Russia, as well as chairman and managing director, Ford of Britain.
“Under Jacques’ leadership, we have continued to strengthen our business across the Middle East and Africa, and laid a solid foundation for the future,” said Armstrong. “Looking forward, I am confident that Mark’s deep marketing expertise and consumer mindset will be a significant asset to help accelerate our business in the region, offering exciting new products and services, and further driving operational fitness.”

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