Philip G. Spender is returning to Ford Motor Co., leaving his post as Mazda Motor Corp.’s representative director and executive vice president.

Mazda says Spender, also an assistant to the president, will be replaced by Thomas A. H. Pixton, who will have oversight of Ford’s relationship with Mazda and carry the titles of senior managing executive officer and assistant to the president.

Pixton currently is executive director-product development for Ford. Prior to April 2008, he was executive director of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group.

From October 2003 through May 2006, Pixton held the title of executive director of product development-Ford of Europe.

Ford divested 20% of its 33% stake in Mazda two years ago and now holds a non-controlling 13%.

Spender officially will step down and be replaced by Pixton Nov. 19, Mazda says.