Ford Motor Co. announces a number of executive changes stemming from the retirement of several key officials.

Gerhardt Schmidt, chief technical officer and vice president, Research & Advanced Engineering will retire effective Feb. 1.

Schmidt, a 10-year veteran of Ford, will be succeeded by Paul Mascarenas, currently vice president of engineering.

Derrick Kuzak, group vice president-global product development, credits Schmidt for his leadership role in the development of new technologies.

“Many of the technologies that are now changing consumers’ views of Ford – EcoBoost, state-of-the-art diesels and Sync – all had their roots in Research & Advanced Engineering,” Kuzak says in a statement.

“Gerhard’s commitment to customer-driven technology and an unrelenting drive to see that technology in our production vehicles has left a lasting imprint on all of us, and just as importantly, our processes,” he says.

Ford also announces that Ingvar Sviggum, vice president-marketing, sales and service-Ford of Europe, will retire Jan. 1.

Sviggum will be replaced by Roelant de Waard, currently vice president-sales for Ford of Europe. De Waard also is appointed an officer of Ford and will report directly to Jim Farley, group vice president-Global Marketing, Sales and Service.

Additional changes include the appointment of Barb Samardzich, vice president-Powertrain Engineering, to the position of vice president-global product programs.

Concurrently, Hau Thai-Tang, director-product development for Ford’s South American Operations, is appointed executive director-global product programs.

Matt O’Leary, director-corporate strategy, is promoted to director-product development for Ford South American Operations, replacing Thai-Tang.

Executive Director of North American Product Programs Frank Davis is named vice president-product development for Ford of Europe.

Joe Bakaj, vice president-global product programs and product development, Ford of Europe, is appointed vice president-Powertrain Engineering.

Raj Nair, vice president-operations, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, is elected an officer of the company and appointed vice president-engineering.

“These moves further strengthen our global-product-development team as we continue to accelerate the development of new vehicles around the world,” Kuzak says.