Ford Motor Co. announces the retirement of Richard Parry-Jones, 56, group vice president and chief technical officer, who will leave his post Dec. 31.

In a statement, President and CEO Alan Mulally says Parry-Jones has made outstanding contributions during his 30 years of service at the auto maker.

“Richard’s feel for the customer and technical expertise has helped improve all of our brands, and his drive and determination have been a great inspiration to our engineers as we have accelerated development of our new products that people really want and value,” Mulally says.

Derrick Kuzak, group vice president-global product development, will assume the bulk of Parry-Jones’ responsibilities, Ford says.

Gerhard Schmidt, vice president-research and engineering, will assume the role of technical officer in addition to his current responsibilities.