Kiersten Robinson selected for Ford Blue operating position; Jennifer Waldo and Christopher Smith join new Ford executives
DEARBORN, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ford is further strengthening its leadership team – hiring two highly esteemed executives and handing an important global operational role to a long-time experienced colleague – as it continues to execute the customer-focused Ford+ plan for the growth and value creation.
Kiersten Robinson, Ford’s senior human resources executive for more than four years and a 27-year veteran of the company, transitions to a key operational role as general manager of Ford’s popular and profitable family vehicles at Ford Blue. She will also serve as president of Ford’s operations in Mexico and Canada.
Robinson will be replaced as director of human resources and employee experience by jennifer waldo, an accomplished leader with deep technology experience at Apple and General Electric, who will start at Ford in mid-May. And Christopher Smithwho initiated policy and government affairs capability at liquefied natural gas producer Cheniere Energy and served for seven years as a civil servant with the U.S. Department of Energy, joins Ford on April 4 as director of government affairs.
Ford model e, Ford blue
Earlier this month, Ford President and CEO Jim Farley announced the creation of two separate, yet strategically interrelated, automotive business units to improve the customer experience and grow revenue and the profitability :
- Ford Blue, which will selectively expand the company’s signature portfolio of internal combustion engine-powered vehicles; reduce costs, simplify operations and improve quality; and provide engineering and high-volume production expertise across Ford, and
- Ford model ewhich will innovate and deliver breakthrough electric vehicles at scale, as well as breakthrough software and connected vehicle technologies.
In his new position, Robinson will report to Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford Blue.
“Kiersten is a transformational leader who has been instrumental in supporting Ford’s global and commercial team for nearly three decades with innovative people, talent, employee safety and experience solutions. in the workplace,” Farley said. “Now she takes on a critical global operational role at Ford Blue as President of Mexico and Canada, as well as leading our Family Vehicles product line which includes the popular Ford Explorer, Expedition and Everest.”
Robinson joined the company in 1995 as a labor relations representative in Australia, her home country. A series of Ford Human Resources leadership assignments in Asia-Pacific and Europe preceded a move to the company’s headquarters in Dearborn in 2002.
She was named head of human resources for Asia-Pacific and Africa in 2010, before being named head of human resources for the Americas in 2016, with responsibility for global markets added in early 2017. Robinson has was appointed Director of Human Resources in 2018, and in her current role. in 2020.
Waldo, who will report to Farley, has been leading change in organizations for more than 20 years, the last 10 years in California’s Silicon Valley. At Apple, she led the team supporting all non-retail people functions, including software, hardware, services, design and marketing, as well as the global mobility teams. and talent development.
“Jen has incredible experience and a proven track record of helping companies across industries develop talent and culture to support innovation and growth,” said Farley. “She will be an invaluable addition as we build a diverse and successful team to deliver the Ford+ plan.”
Prior to Apple, Waldo spent 17 years at two GE business units. At GE Digital, which provides industrial Internet of Things software and services to industrial companies, she led the recruitment and development of software skills in GE’s industrial businesses. Previously, Waldo worked for GE Aviation, starting in several factory HR roles and ending up managing global HR for sales and the avionics business. She then led organizational and talent development, including inclusion and diversity, recruiting and executive development, across the company.
Joining Ford will be a homecoming for Waldo, a Michigan native. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political theory from James Madison College at Michigan State University and a master’s degree in human resources and labor relations, also from MSU.
Smith will strengthen Ford’s policy capabilities as the company implements priorities in the United States and around the world – in rapidly changing areas such as connectivity, electric vehicles and digital services, and in ways that benefit customers, society and the environment. He succeeds Mitch Bainwol, who retired from Ford at the end of 2021, and will report to Steven Croley, Ford’s chief policy officer and general counsel.
“Chris has dedicated his career to shaping progressive energy policy and driving toward a more sustainable future,” Croley said. “He brings tremendous passion and expertise to Ford as we shape the future of transportation.”
For the past four-plus years, Smith served as Senior Vice President, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, at Cheniere Energy, the world’s second-largest liquefied natural gas operator. While there, Smith led the incorporation of climate principles into Cheniere’s business model and influenced a modernization of federal regulations.
During the Obama administration, Smith was a civil servant in the Department of Energy, then assistant secretary for fossil fuels. In this role, he oversaw policy, international engagement, and research and development programs. Earlier in his career, Smith held executive and analytical positions at Chevron, focusing primarily on upstream business development and LNG trading, and analytical positions at Citibank and JPMorgan in New York and London.
Smith, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, began his career as an engineer officer in the United States Army, including a tour of Korea. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Cambridge in England and a degree in applied mathematics from the American Public University.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a Dearborn, Michigan-based global company committed to helping build a better world, where everyone is free to roam and pursue their dreams. The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and ongoing customer relationships to enrich customer experiences and deepen customer loyalty. Ford develops and offers innovative and essential Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, vans and utility cars, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles, as well as connected services. The company does this through its Ford Blue and Ford Model e internal combustion electric vehicle businesses, and the Ford Pro commercial vehicle service and distribution unit. Additionally, Ford is establishing leadership positions through Ford Drive mobility solutions, including self-driving technology, and providing financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs approximately 183,000 people worldwide. More information about the company and its products and services is available at corporate.ford.com.
For press releases, related documents and high-resolution photos and videos, visit www.media.ford.com.