Toyota loses another: Jim Farley heads to Ford

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Sure, the loss of Jim Press to Chrysler was probably a bigger blow, but news today that one of Toyota’s marketing gurus, Jim Farley, has been hired awar by Alan Mulally to be Ford’s group vice president of marketing and communication implies that the Japanese automaker’s North American operation is experiencing a bit of a brain drain. Farley will start at Ford in mid-November and report directly to Mulally. His resume includes overseeing the launch of Scion, general manager of Lexus and group VP of marketing of Toyota.

In addition to Farley and Press, Toyota also lost Deborah Wahl Meyer two months ago when Chrysler hired her to be its chief marketing officer. What we’re seeing is a dream team of executives groomed by Toyota going out and testing the free agent market. It remains to be seen, however, whether Team Toyota will ultimately suffer for not keeping these execs in their positions.

NOTE: A few of us couldn’t help but notice that along with his marketing acumen, Farley will bring another mullet to the Ford fold. He’ll need a month or so of missed haircuts to reach Mark Fields’ level of mulletocity, but he’ll get there.

[Source: Ford, Automotive News, sub. req’d]

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