July 22, 2014 / 5:14 PM / 5 years ago

Galhotra succeeds Farley at Ford as head of Lincoln brand

The company logo is seen on the bonnet of a Ford car during the media day ahead of the 84th Geneva Motor Show at the Palexpo Arena in Geneva March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co has named engineer Kumar Galhotra to succeed Jim Farley as head of the company’s Lincoln brand, the automaker said Tuesday.

Farley remains head of Ford’s global marketing, sales and service. Farley and Galhotra report to Ford President and Chief Executive Mark Fields.

“As we are taking the brand global, adding new dealers in China and increasing the pace of new product introductions, it was time for a dedicated leader” at Lincoln, Ford spokeswoman Susan Krusel said.

As president of Lincoln, Galhotra will oversee the development of future Lincoln vehicles, as well as marketing and sales.

Lincoln’s U.S. sales dipped slightly in June, but were up 16 percent in the first half. The brand still trails most of its competitors in the premium car sector. Segment leader Mercedes-Benz outsells Lincoln by more than three to one in the United States.

Galhotra, who will start his new job on Sept. 1, had been Ford’s vice president of engineering. His successor is Jim Holland, who was named vice president of vehicle component and systems engineering.

In another executive move announced on Tuesday, Ford hired an executive from aerospace giant Lockheed Martin to head its research operations.

The automaker said Paul Mascarenas, a 32-year Ford veteran, is retiring as chief technical officer and vice president of research and advanced engineering. Mascarenas led Ford’s initial foray into Silicon Valley, opening a “listening post” to connect with inventors and entrepreneurs developing cutting-edge technologies, products and services.

As Mascarenas’ successor, Ford hired Ken Washington, who reports to Raj Nair, group vice president of global product development. Washington was vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Space Technology Advanced Research & Development Laboratories.

Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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