Ford Motor Co. has hired former ESAB Corp. executive John Dion as its next chief transformation officer as the company looks to cut costs, overcome quality woes and improve its operational execution.

Dion will begin his role April 3 and will report to CEO Jim Farley.

In a news release, Ford said he will “oversee global deployment of methodologies and tools based on lean manufacturing and related concepts” as the company attempts to implement its Ford+ growth plan. Dion replaces Stewart Rowley, who retired at the end of 2022.

“High value and quality, continuous flow, rooting out waste – those things have been fundamental to who we are for more than a century,” Farley said in a statement. “John’s an expert in all of the principles of lean, and he and his team will provide our culture the urgency, guidance and support we need to reassert and raise Ford’s reputation for excellence, thrift and growth.”

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