Roelant de Waard retires as Ford of Europe boss

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Dutchman has led the company’s transformative electrification plans in recent years.

Ford of Europe’s car boss, Roelant de Waard, will retire at the end of this year after 30 years’ service to the company. His replacement hasn’t yet been announced.

The Dutchman has overseen Ford’s recent European transformation after a turbulent few years, culminating in the company’s plans, announced earlier this year, to become fully electric by 2030.

It has also promised that every model in its European line-up will be available as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or electric vehicle (EV) by the middle of 2026.

The company also committed US$1 billion to the renovation of its headquarters in Cologne, Germany, including the conversion of its existing Ford Fiesta assembly plant to a state-of-the-art EV production line for its “first European-built, volume, all-electric passenger vehicle for European customers” in 2023.

Ford of Europe president Stuart Rowley said: “Roelant has been an outstanding leader at Ford, and that was never truer than over the past years, being responsible for defining the Passenger Vehicle strategy in a time when electrification represents the most transformative change of our industry in over 100 years.”

De Waard joined Ford Netherlands in 1990 before moving to head office in Dearborn, Michigan, US, in 1996. He returned to Europe in 1999 and became managing director of Ford of Britain from 2006 to 2008. He has held the role of Passenger Vehicles general manager at Ford of Europe since 2019.

Rachel Burgess

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