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Neale Hill

Neale Hill, President of Ford Motor Company: Africa

Neale Hill, President of Ford Motor Company: Africa

2nd June 2023

     

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Full Name: Neale Jason Hill

Position and Company Name: President of Ford Motor Company: Africa

Main Activity of the Company: Manufacture and sale of motor vehicles, including exporting to 100 international markets

Date and Place of Birth: June 18, 1968, East London, Eastern Cape

Schools and Tertiary Education: I attended Avon Primary School and Athol Heights Primary School, both in Westville North, KwaZulu-Natal, as well as Westville Boys’ High School, before studying law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal from 1986 to 1990. I also hold a Bachelor of Social Science degree in industrial psychology and business management (marketing), and completed the strategic marketing programme at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in 2000

First Job: My first full-time job, in February 1991, was as a graduate trainee for product marketing at Samcor

Size of First Pay Packet: R1 600 a month

Career Path to Date: I have been Ford Motor Company’s president for Africa since October 2021. Before that I was Ford Motor Company South Africa MD from July 2018 to September 2021; marketing, sales and service director for Southern and sub-Saharan Africa from January 2016 to July 2018; sales GM in Melbourne, Australia, from July 2013 to December 2015; MD of Ford New Zealand from August 2011 to July 2013; cross carline brand strategy manager for Asia Pacific and the Africa head office, based in Shanghai, China, from September 2009 to July 2011; regional brand manager: passenger cars for Asia Pacific and the Africa head office, based in Bangkok, Thailand, from April 2006 to August 2009; Ford marketing manager for South Africa, from January 2000 to March 2006; regional sales manager, from October 1997 to December 1999; Ford communications and advertising manager, from June 1996 to September 1997; district sales manager, from July 1993 to May 1996; advertising and promotions coordinator, from January 1993 to June 1993; and graduate trainee, from February 1991 to June 1993

Number of People under Your Leadership: 5 500 employees at our two plants – the Silverton vehicle assembly plant and the Struandale engine plant

Management Style: I am open, transparent and approachable. I also strongly believe in servant leadership and that it is management’s role to support the team to help them do their jobs to the best of their ability. Moreover, I don’t believe you should ask anyone to do something you are not prepared to do yourself

Personal Best Achievement: Overseeing, with VP of operations Ockert Berry and the team, the R18-billion upgrade of Ford’s South African manufacturing operations to build the Next-Gen Ford Ranger for export to 100 markets globally

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My father – he instilled in me the ethic of hard work, honesty and loyalty and letting your work speak for you

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: Ford South Africa CEO and global CFO Lewis Booth; Ford South Africa CFO and president of Asia Pacific and Africa David Schoch; Ford South Africa CEO and president of Ford Australia Bob Graziano; and Ford South Africa director: marketing sales and service Nigel Harris

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Richard Branson (business) and Rory McIIroy (sport)

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Jack Ma

Philosophy of Life: Always remain humble – you’re never bigger than the job or the company, and job titles don’t define who you are and how you can interact with others

Biggest Ever Opportunity: Working with the Ford team to ensure we capitalise on the opportunity to expand our export operations with the Next-Gen Ranger and to boost Ford’s contribution to South Africa’s gross domestic product beyond its current 1%

Biggest Ever Disappointment: My father passing away before I was appointed MD of Ford South Africa

Hope for the Future: That South Africa realises its full potential and that we are able to address the socioeconomic challenges we face to provide dignity and opportunity for all citizens

Favourite Reading: Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child, and Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts

Favourite TV Programme: Reality TV programmes – Deadliest Catch and Forged in Fire

Favourite Food/Drink: Thai food/whisky

Favourite Music: I listen to all types of music, depending on the mood Favourite Sport

: Golf (playing and watching)

Hobbies: Bird watching and wildlife photography

Car: A 1969 Mustang Fastback

Pets: Bull mastiffs

Miscellaneous Dislikes: Lack of punctuality – I hate being late myself and find it disrespectful if others are late

Married: To Wendy

Children: None

Clubs: The Els Club at Copperleaf Golf Club

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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