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Local Ford chief replaced

Task ahead: Ford Australia's new leader, Bill Osborne.

With sales plummeting to an 80-year low, Ford Australia turns to a new president

General News logo16 Jan 2008

LESS than a week after Holden’s sudden replacement of its managing director, Ford Australia also caught the industry by surprise this morning by announcing the sudden departure of its president, Tom Gorman.

Mr Gorman, 47, who has led the company through a turbulent period since March 2004, is to leave the automotive industry, taking up a position based in London with an Australian company. He has worked for Ford for more than 20 years.

His surprise departure means that Mr Gorman will not get to present the all-important launch of the new Falcon, which will be vital to reverse the disturbing decline in Ford’s fortunes in Australia.

Ford’s market share last year dropped to just 10.3 per cent, which GoAuto believes is the company’s worst result in Australia since 1928.

Mr Gorman’s replacement, effective from February 1, will be the president of Ford of Canada, 47 year-old Bill Osborne.

Announcing the shock news, Ford Asia Pacific chief John Parker said that Mr Osborne will bring extensive product development and marketing experience to his new role.

 center imageLeft: Departing Ford Australia president Tom Gorman.

“Bill Osborne has a wealth of business and industry knowledge and will be an immense asset to the Ford Australia team,” said Mr Parker.

“He has led the Ford of Canada team admirably since November 2005 and is well placed to take the Australian operations to the next level of global integration and significance.

“Tom Gorman has been an outstanding leader at Ford Australia and has brought the company through some challenging times. He has elected to move onto other exciting opportunities outside the automotive industry and we wish him well in his new role.” Mr Osborne was executive director of Ford Pickup Truck and Commercial Vehicles from December 2003 until November 2005, with overall business and product development responsibility for F-Series, Super Duty, Ranger, Econoline and all commercial truck products.

Prior to that, for three years he served as engineering director for Ford’s ‘Tough Truck’ business group, where he was responsible for the design and development of all commercial and personal use trucks for the North American market.

Osborne’s other roles since joining Ford in 1990 include vehicle line director for the Super Duty, F Series and Excursion vehicles, assistant vehicle line director for the mid-size sedan platform and manufacturing operations manager at the Romeo engine plant.

He also previously led the V-Engine design activity within powertrain operations, the engine system activity for the Duratec V6 engines and spearheaded Ford’s advanced powertrain noise and vibration research.

Osborne was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1960. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from GMI Engineering & Management Institute, a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago, and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University.

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