Kay Hart, global BEV manager, distribution & digital experience, Team Edison, is named president and CEO, Ford of Australia and New Zealand.
Hart, 40, will be based in Melbourne, reporting to Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific.
“Kay is a proven leader, highly motivated by consumer insights and dealer relations,” said Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific. “She has broad experience across the company and around the globe. With strong knowledge and relationships in Australia and New Zealand, Kay will be a wonderful addition to our leadership team and a strong advocate for our customers and dealers.”
Most recently, Hart was the global BEV manager, distribution and digital experience, in Team Edison, which is focused primarily on rapidly designing and implementing new holistic customer-focused BEV services and ownership experiences. In this role, she was responsible for driving the transformation of Ford’s future customer experience across the globe.
During her time as Advanced Consumer Experience Marketing Manager, Hart led innovations such as FordPass – the company’s one-stop app that delivers solutions aimed at helping consumers get the most out of their vehicle ownership experience.
Hart has also worked in a number of positions at Ford, including managing director for Ford Philippines from 2013 to 2015. In that role, she directed the successful product-led transformation of Ford’s business in the Philippines through the introduction of class-leading vehicles and the expansion of the Ford dealer network in the country. Hart started her career in the marketing team at Ford New Zealand in 1998.
“I am excited to come back to Asia Pacific and work with such a strong and accomplished Ford Australia and New Zealand team,” said Kay Hart, president & CEO, Ford Australia and New Zealand. “I’m looking forward to working with our dealers and team to continue the great progress that has been made in the consumer experience and helping accelerate growth across the business.”
In this role, Hart will be responsible for Ford’s National Sales Company in Australia and New Zealand, including marketing, sales and service, dealer relations, customer satisfaction and sales performance. She will continue to lead the transformation of Ford’s business, including the work to revamp the consumer and dealer experience.
Hart succeeds Graeme Whickman, president and CEO, Ford of Australia and New Zealand, who has resigned effective July 2. Whickman leaves Ford after 20 years with the company to pursue a new opportunity.
“Graeme has enjoyed an accomplished career at Ford,” said Fleet. “He has been instrumental in significant efforts around the globe including Canada, China and most recently, leading the transformation of Ford’s business in Australia and New Zealand. We thank Graeme for his contribution and wish him and his family well.”
Whickman has spent his 20-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 Rent A Car in the U.K.
“I know I leave a much stronger Ford Australia and New Zealand than only a few years ago, a company that has a strong and vibrant future,” said Whickman. “The industry is undergoing rapid change, and I have confidence the local leadership teams have the right plans in place to be successful. They will continue to be held up in the Global Ford world as great examples of what happens when good focused strategies are supported by committed and skilful employees and dealers.”