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Ford’s Matt VanDyke to become CEO of FordDirect

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DETROIT — Matt VanDyke, Ford Motor Co.’s director of marketing, will soon become the CEO of the company’s FordDirect joint venture with dealers.

VanDyke, 48, will take the reins of the digital lead-generating company Feb. 1. He replaces Diane Craig, who became president of Ford’s International Markets Group this month.

“Matt VanDyke has been an exceptional, dynamic leader at Ford, taking on challenges with Bronco and F-150 during the pandemic and leading our Built for America and Built to Lend a Hand campaigns,” Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of the Americas and International Markets Group, said in a statement. “His passion and experience in marketing make him an excellent choice for the FordDirect position, and we wish him well.”

Additionally, Mike Gingell, FordDirect’s senior vice president, product, marketing and dealer engagement, will become FordDirect COO, a position that has been unfilled since 2018.

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“We are thrilled to have Matt VanDyke lead the FordDirect team,” Mike Pallotta, president of Pallotta Ford-Lincoln in Wooster, Ohio, and chairman of the FordDirect Board of Managers, said in a statement. “His passion for the digital auto retailing business is clear. His experience around the world shepherding the Ford and Lincoln brands, along with his knowledge of FordDirect following two terms as a board member, will serve him well as CEO.”

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It was unclear whether VanDyke’s marketing position will be filled. Ford recently hired Suzy Deering, previously with eBay, to become its chief marketing officer.

VanDyke’s marketing experience will likely help him in his new role. Since 2018, he has led Ford’s integrated communications, digital consumer experience, brand alliances, revenue management and retail go-to-market strategies, according to the company.

He’ll be required to call on those skills to create digital marketing and advertising solutions to help boost sales for Ford and Lincoln dealers.

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