Corner Office Shifts: New presidents at IKEA and Ford Canada

A round-up of senior-level changes you may have missed.
Corner Office

IKEA Canada’s new president

Michael Ward has returned home to lead IKEA Canada as its newly appointed president (country retail manager) as of Jan. 1.

Ward will “lead the transformation of the Canadian business,” according to a company press release. Those transformation plans include exploring new store formats, new in-store and digital experiences, and improvements to the service and distribution network.

He is replacing Marsha Smith, who joins IKEA United Kingdom and Ireland in a management role.

Ward previously held a global role at IKEA as retail manager for the North America and Scandinavia region, based out of Philadelphia. He began his career at the retailer in Mississauga, Ont., more than 30 years ago and has served in strategic leadership roles in Sweden, the Netherlands and the U.S.

He takes leadership of IKEA’s Canadian business as the retailer strives to reduce its environmental footprint company-wide. The brand has focused on sustainability for many years, but only began communicating those efforts in its marketing in 2017, following a brand re-positioning under the leadership of IKEA’s Canadian marketing country manager, Lauren MacDonald.

Ford Canada’s new president and CEO

Starting next month, Dean Stoneley will step in as president and chief executive of Ford Motor Company of Canada, replacing Mark Buzzell, who is moving on to be a director of the company’s North American fleet, lease and remarketing operations at Ford in the U.S.

Stoneley, who has been with the automaker since 1992, held a number of sales and marketing roles in Canada and abroad, including the U.S., South African, South Korean and Japanese markets. He was most recently VP and director of marketing for Changan Ford (a joint venture between Ford and Chinese auto manufacturer Changan Automobile) in China.

The announcement follows Ford’s recent decision to phase production of its sedans, except two models, in North America, responding to greater demand for larger SUVs and pickup trucks. The company finished 2018 as the top-selling brand in Canada, having sold close to 300,000 vehicles, driven by sales of the F-150. Sales nevertheless declined 3.4% for the year.

Stoneley begins his new role on Feb. 1.

Kimberly-Clark’s new general manager

Having been promoted to VP and general manager at Kimberly-Clark in Canada, Carla Anger will lead marketing, sales, category and insights and retail operations across the CPG co’s Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kleenex, Depend and Poise brands, according to Canadian Grocer.

Anger has been working at Kimberly-Clark for nearly 30 years, most recently as VP of sales. She’s also served as VP of customer development and consumer sales, team lead for category development and director of customer development on the Walmart business.

Her promotion was announced earlier this month.