Barbara Samardzich was the Vice President and chief operating officer at Ford of Europe, where she was responsible for all European manufacturing, product development, purchasing, quality, safety and environmental operations, leading a team of over 30,000 to help restore Ford’s European operations to sustainable profitability.
Barb Samardzich is currently a non-executive director on the board of several public and private companies including Adient plc, MTS System Corp, and Velodyne LiDAR. Prior to this role, Samardzich held various senior leadership positions across her 26 year career with Ford Motor Company. Most recently, Samardzich was the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ford of Europe from 2011 to 2016. In this role she was responsible for all European manufacturing, product development, purchasing, quality, safety and environmental operations, leading a team of over 30,000 to help restore Ford’s European operations to sustainable profitability.
Previous to her role as COO, Barbara served as vice-president, product development, Ford of Europe from 2011 to 2013 where she oversaw the development of key Ford global products including the Focus and Fiesta vehicle lines, and Transit commercial vehicles. From 2005 through 2010, Barbara served as Ford’s vice-president of powertrain responsible for development and manufacture of all of Ford’s powertrains globally, inclusive of the award winning EcoBoost family of engines. Before 2010, Barb held various roles in both powertrain and vehicle engineering, responsible for several vehicle lines including the Escape and Mustang.
Before joining Ford in 1990, Barb worked as a thermal design engineer at Westinghouse Electric Corp in their nuclear fuels division.
Barbara has won many awards for her work including 2016 Automotive News Europe “25 Leading Women in the European Auto Industry”, 2011 Automobilwoche “Top 50 Automotive Women”, the “Women in Engineering Achievement Award” from Design News in 2004 and being named a “Leading Woman in the North American Automotive Industry” by Automotive News in 2005 and 2010.
Samardzich also sits on the board of several non-profit organizations.