Ford board member Jon Huntsman named to senior policy position

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DETROIT — Jon Huntsman, a Ford Motor Co. board member and former governor of Utah, has been named to a new position of vice chair, policy, effective May 3, the company said Wednesday.

Huntsman, 61, will advise CEO Jim Farley and Executive Chairman Bill Ford on “strategic policy matters” and will work closely with the Office of the General Counsel, Government Relations and Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering teams. A former U.S. ambassador to multiple countries, he will “represent Ford with certain government officials and influencers” both in the U.S. and abroad, Ford said.

“Global policy is hugely important to transforming Ford and unlocking great value for customers and all stakeholders,” Farley said in a statement. “Jon’s background, insights and achievements are unrivaled — as an ambassador and trade representative, a state governor and a public-company executive.”

Huntsman was Utah’s governor twice, from 2005 to 2009. He was U.S. ambassador to China from 2009 to 2011 and ambassador to Singapore in the early 1990s. He also spent two years as deputy U.S. trade representative in President George W. Bush’s administration, working on dozens of trade and investment agreements in Asia Pacific and Africa, according to Ford.

Huntsman was first elected to Ford’s board in 2012 and served until 2017, when he accepted an ambassadorship to Russia under President Donald Trump’s administration. He resigned as ambassador in 2019 to return to Utah to run for governor a third time, but he was defeated in the state’s Republican primary.

He rejoined Ford’s board in October 2020 is up for reelection by shareholders on May 13. With his new role, Huntsman will step down from the board’s nominating and governance and compensation committees but will remain on its sustainability and innovation committees.

Ford said in a securities filing that Huntsman’s new role will earn him a $1 million base salary and an initial stock grant valued at $3 million in the form of time-based restricted stock units that will vest over three years.

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