Ford Motor Company on Sept. 12 announced that Lisa Materazzo is joining the company as global chief marketing officer, according to a press release. The executive was formerly Toyota's top marketing executive in North America and also held leadership roles at Lexus and Scion.
Materazzo will report to Ford President and CEO Jim Farley and will lead advanced product planning and all marketing activities across Ford Blue, Ford Model e and Ford Pro. The executive cited how Ford is responding to the automotive industry's electric and software "sea change" as reason for taking the position.
“Great marketing can supercharge the Ford+ plan because we have the opportunity to win the hearts and minds of customers with seamlessly connected product, service, and ownership experiences that create brand advocates for life," she said in a statement.
Materazzo will also oversee Ford Performance and Lincoln, the latter of which she called an "iconic and powerful brand" that she is hoping to help reinvigorate.
Like other legacy automakers, Ford is working to shift to electric vehicles (EVs) to meet consumer demand. However, Ford is losing money on each EV it sells and recently pushed back its plan for a 600,000-unit EV production run rate to 2024 instead of late 2023.
Several competitors have also shaken up marketing leadership to meet changing needs. General Motors Global CMO Deborah Wahl retired in March, while Mercedes-Benz USA in May tapped former Cadillac marketer Melody Lee as CMO.
On its own marketing front, Ford in March launched a campaign under its “Built Ford Proud” tagline — the first of its kind for the automaker in three years. The effort featured actor Sydney Sweeney, stunt driver Dee Bryant and surfer Kai Lenny and was made in collaboration with agency partners Wieden+Kennedy New York, Artemis, Mindshare, VML and BBDO.
In addition to Materazzo's appointment, Ford elevated Elena Ford, its chief customer experience officer, to chief dealer engagement officer and named William Clay “Will” Ford III general manager of Ford Performance.