Ford Motor Co. shuffles its global executive ranks in order to strengthen its senior leadership team and streamline its officer-level organizational structure.

The most significant move is the appointment of Stephen Odell as chief operating officer of Ford of Europe. Odell previously served as vice president of marketing, sales and services for Ford’s European operations.

In his new post, Odell, 53, will report to Ford of Europe CEO and President John Fleming, and assume responsibility for product development, manufacturing, purchasing and marketing, as well as sales and service operations.

Since joining the auto maker in 1980, Odell has held a variety of key positions at Ford of Europe, Mazda Motor Corp. and Jaguar Cars.

“As we move into a more intensive phase of our global transformation, now is the right time to make more of Stephen’s extensive operational experience around the world,” Fleming says in a statement. “Giving him operational responsibility for Ford of Europe will help us raise our game as we take a prominent role in developing new vehicles globally.”

Assuming Odell’s former post is Ingvar Sviggum, who currently serves as vice president of European sales operations, Ford of Europe.

Both appointments are effective April 1.

Meanwhile, Ford says corporate officers with global responsibilities who report directly to President and CEO Alan Mulally now will carry the title of group vice president.

Effective April 1, that group includes, Tony Brown, senior vice president-global purchasing; Sue Cischke, senior vice president-sustainability, environment and safety engineering; Bennie Fowler, vice president-quality, David Leitch, senior vice president and general counsel; and Nick Smither, vice president and chief information officer.

“The changes announced today will bolster an already top-notch leadership team at Ford Motor Co.,” Mulally says in a statement. “At the time that Ford of Europe is strengthening its operating leadership, we’re reducing management layers among our senior leaders with global responsibilities. This is a continuing part of our effort to reduce complexity and streamline our internal processes.”