DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. said Thursday that John May, CEO of Deere & Co., has been elected to its board of directors effective immediately.
May’s election expands the automaker’s board to 15 members, and he will serve on the finance, compensation, talent and culture, and nominating and governance committees.
“Our industry is in an exciting period of disruption and we’re changing Ford in significant ways that are good for all our customers and stakeholders, with advanced technology and digital connectivity at the center,” Executive Chair Bill Ford said in a statement. “That’s what Deere is doing in its businesses, making John’s expertise invaluable to our board as the Ford management team executes the company’s strategy for growth and value creation.”
May is the third new member to join the automaker’s board this year following the election of Alexandra Ford English and Henry Ford III, who replaced two retiring members.
Separately, Ford announced that Mitch Bainwol, its chief government affairs officer who played a pivotal role in crafting an emissions framework with California and selecting U.S. sites for its largest-ever manufacturing investment, will retire at the end of the year.
Bainwol, 62, has been in the position since March 2019. Before that, he was CEO for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
“Partnering with governments is critical to constantly simplifying, advancing and accelerating what we do, so that we’re always giving customers and society the value they deserve,” Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a statement. “Mitch and his team have done a great job making those relationships possible and productive, putting Ford in the middle of important policy discussions.”
Before his roles in the auto industry, Bainwol was chief of staff for multiple Republican senators and organizations and started his career as a budget analyst in the Reagan administration.
Steven Croley, who oversees Ford’s legal, government relations, sustainability, environment and safety-engineering functions as chief policy officer and general counsel, will lead Ford’s government relations team on an interim basis until a successor for Bainwol is announced, Ford said.