Ford Hires CMO Away From Toyota

Ford Motor Co. has named Lisa Materazzo as global chief marketing officer, luring her away from Toyota Motor North America. 

Materazzo, who will report to President and CEO Jim Farley, will lead advanced product planning and marketing activities across all three customer-centered business groups:  Ford Blue, Ford Model e and Ford Pro. 

She also will oversee Ford Performance, the company’s high-performance motorsports and racing division, and the Lincoln luxury-vehicle business.

Materazzo succeeds former CMO Suzy Deering, who abruptly left Ford in December. Deering joined Ford in early 2021 from eBay.

“The automotive industry is going through a sea change with the electric and software transition, and the more I looked at the bold bets Ford is making on the future, the more I wanted to be part of this mission,” Materazzo said in a statement. “Great marketing can supercharge the Ford-Plus plan because we have the opportunity to win the hearts and minds of customers with seamlessly connected product, service, and ownership experiences that create brand advocates for life.”



Materazzo was the top North American marketing executive at Toyota, where she spent 20 years. She led disciplines including market planning, advertising, digital platforms, experiential marketing, motorsports and the Toyota Dealer Association.

MediaPost recognized Materazzo as its 2023 “Automotive Marketer of the Year” for her strategic consistency and innovation at Toyota. She championed consolidation of customer communications and helped the company use award-winning approaches to increase its appeal to a diverse customer base. 

Materazzo also led marketing for Toyota’s Lexus and Scion brands during pivotal periods in their expansions.  Earlier in her career, Materazzo directed automotive marketing for AOL/Verizon.

Her passion for automobiles and motorsports dates back to her early years growing up in upstate New York near the famed Watkins Glen International Raceway. She learned to drive in a 1981 Ford Mustang Cobra. 

In other personnel news at the automaker, Elena Ford, Ford’s chief customer experience officer, is named to a new role as chief dealer engagement officer. She is tasked with accelerating the transformation of Ford’s nearly 10,000 dealers worldwide into a competitive differentiator for the company’s businesses across Ford Blue, Ford Model e, Ford Pro and Lincoln.

Ford also revealed that William Clay Ford III -- son of Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford and a fifth-generation member of the founding Ford family -- is joining the automaker as the general manager of Ford Performance.

He is charged with building out that entity as a business and lifestyle brand, working closely with product development, marketing, dealers and merchandising.

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