Ford Announces Senior Leadership Change

Thu, Mar 19, 2015

  • Robert “Bob” Graziano, president and CEO, Ford of Australia and New Zealand has elected to retire effective April 1 after a 32-year career
  • Graeme Whickman, vice president, Marketing Sales & Service, Ford of Australia, is appointed president and CEO, Ford of Australia and New Zealand effective April 1

MELBOURNE– Ford Motor Company today is announcing changes in its senior leadership team in Australia as it continues to deliver the company’s Australian Transformation Plan.

Bob Graziano, president and CEO, Ford of Australia and New Zealand, has elected to retire effective April 1 after more than 32 years at Ford. Succeeding Graziano as president, Ford of Australia and New Zealand, will be Graeme Whickman.

Throughout his career at Ford, Graziano, 55, has served in a variety of roles around the world, including Chairman and CEO, Ford China, executive vice president and representative director for Mazda Motor Corporation, and president and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

Graziano joined Ford in the U.S. in 1982 as a sales analyst in Omaha, Nebraska. He worked in Houston, Texas and Kansas City, Missouri before moving to the company’s home city of Dearborn, Mich. in 1990. Over the next seven years, Graziano served in a variety of U.S. marketing and finance roles with both Ford and the company’s luxury brand Lincoln.

In 1997, Graziano took on his first international assignment in Brazil where he served as general marketing manager, Ford Brazil. That assignment was followed by a turn as strategic marketing director, Ford South America. He returned to the U.S. in 2000 serving in Marketing and Product Planning before being named to the top position in South Africa in 2004.

“Bob has been a terrific leader for Ford in so many roles around the world,” said Dave Schoch, president, Asia Pacific, Ford Motor Company. “Nowhere has this been more true than in his current role with Ford in Australia and New Zealand. With Bob at the helm, we have set the business on a new path that will result in a thriving product development center and a world-class marketing and sales organization serving the wants and needs of our customers in Australia for years to come.”

“Leading the team in Australia through such an important and difficult time has been an honor,” said Graziano. “The progress we have made on transforming the business in the last two years has been dramatic – completely rethinking the experience our dealers deliver to our customers and dramatically improving sales and service satisfaction, securing robust agreements that will allow our manufacturing employees to move on from Ford with dignity and hope, announcing our new office near central Melbourne, and ensuring we can continue to serve our customers with 20 new vehicles by 2020. I am confident that this transformation will be successful and that we have the right team in place to accelerate that transformation.”

Succeeding Graziano is Graeme Whickman, currently vice president, Marketing Sales & Service, Ford of Australia. Whickman will report to Dave Schoch and be responsible for leading Ford’s national sales companies in Australia and New Zealand.

Whickman, 46, has spent his 18-year career at Ford in a variety of marketing and sales positions in The Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. He first joined Ford in 1997 as a zone manager in Ford New Zealand after working for Coca-Cola in New Zealand and Hertz Rentacar in the U.K.

In that time, he has been part of landmark efforts, including the launch of Ford’s China growth plan as executive director of Marketing for Ford Asia Pacific and pioneering the company’s global consumer experience initiatives as the leader for marketing and then sales in Canada.

He is currently responsible for Ford’s marketing and sales activities in Australia, including advertising, dealer relations, customer satisfaction and sales performance. He has been instrumental in the transformation of Ford’s business in Australia, including the work to revamp the dealer experience.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Mich. With about 187,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data and analytics.

For more information regarding Ford, its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit