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Ford Snares Toyota Marketing Executive

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Another pillar of Toyota North America is leaving...

Ford Motor Snares

Toyota Marketing Executive

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co., trying to bolster its marketing to put a stop to its eroding U.S. market share, has hired away Jim Farley, a rising sales-and-marketing star at Toyota Motor Corp., according to people familiar with the move.

Mr. Farley -- one of the architects behind Toyota's successful foray into America's youth market with funky small cars under the brand name Scion -- is the latest high-ranking American executive to ditch Toyota. He is expected to become Ford's group vice president of marketing and communications, according to people who work for Toyota and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ford likes Mr. Farley "because he's got operating experience," one of the people said. "He's got experience running things."

Successfully snatching Mr. Farley, 45 years old, away from Toyota is a big coup for Ford. Ford Chief Executive Officer Alan Mullaly has been under growing pressure from his board to start improving Ford's performance, especially in North America where the company's sales of vehicles have been steadily declining for months.

Sales of Ford's brands including Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover slid in the first nine months of this year to 1.98 million vehicles from 2.29 million vehicles a year earlier.

Still, thanks in part to aggressive cost reductions in North America, Ford was able to post a net profit of $750 million for the second quarter, rebounding from a net loss of $317 million in the year-earlier period. The company posted a pretax loss of $279 million in North America, however, compared with a pretax loss of $789 million a year ago.

Ford is known to have been looking for a chief marketing officer since earlier this year. Joe Laymon, Ford's group vice president in charge of human resources and labor affairs, said earlier this year the Dearborn, Mich., company was looking for a marketing chief.

The company had relied on Messrs. Press and Farley, among others, as the company's American faces to deflect any political backlash that might arise from its rapid growth in the U.S.

Perhaps more damaging, the company's inability to retain Messrs. Press and Farley and Ms. Meyer highlights what some insiders describe as growing discontent among American ranks about heavy-handed interventions from their bosses in Japan in formulating pricing and other key strategic decisions.

Those insiders, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said American managers were particularly upset about the pricing strategy forced on them for the redesigned Toyota Tundra full-size pickup truck. Relatively high prices of the Tundra, which went on sale in the spring of this year, have forced Toyota to offer big discounts and other costly sales incentives to help them meet its sales on target. Toyota wants to sell 200,000 of them this year.


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With so many top executives fleeing Toyota, it makes me wonder what they know that we don't...........

May be sexual harrassment from their employers in Tokyo for not meeting the sales numbers.

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I doubt its sexual but it does make you wonder... How many have left to date? (recently)

Three in the last 2-3 months:

Jim Press (President and COO of Toyota NA) -> Chrysler President and Vice Chairman

Deb Meyer (VP Toyota Marketing) -> Head of Chrysler Marketing

Jim Farley (General Manager of Lexus, architect of the Scion brand) -> Head of Ford Marketing

Edited by mustang84

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i made the comment on GMI that there is a glass ceiling against non japanese and women. and i think it has merit as a comment. and probably even discrimination too.

I agree...

To bad that doesn't matter to all of the "PC" yuppies that buy the cars.

When top executives are leaving, it's a sign of bad things... When ENTRENCHED/EXPERIENCED top execs are leaving, it's a sign of very bad things.

Is that a camshaft I hear snapping or Toyota's momentum in the market?

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May be sexual harrassment from their employers in Tokyo for not meeting the sales numbers.


Maybe I should put in my resume!

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Victims of their own success. It's certainly not a good sign but how do you know those who left aren't captalizing on their own records for a larger paycheck?

Greed and ego go a long way. :scratchchin:

Where there's smoke...

Edited by FloydHendershot

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