Vice President, Global Programs & Purchasing Operations
Ford Motor Company
Birgit Behrendt was elected a corporate officer and named Vice President, Global Programs and Purchasing Operations, Ford Motor Company effective August 1, 2013. In her new role, Behrendt has operational responsibility for all the regions of the world and for leveraging Ford's global scale to improve costs and operational efficiency. This includes taking advantage of the acceleration of Ford's global platform consolidation and the fact that 85 percent of the company's global volume is off of nine global core platforms this year – moving to 100 percent off the nine core platforms over time.
Previously, Behrendt was Executive Director, Global Programs and the Americas Purchasing. In this role, she oversaw all Purchasing activities for Ford's North and South America operations while working closely with Product Development on all global vehicle and powertrain programs.
From April 1, 2008 through July 2010, Behrendt was Vice President, Purchasing, Ford of Europe, and Executive Director, Global Programs.
She was appointed Vice President, Purchasing, Ford of Europe in February 2004 and also served on the Supervisory Board of Ford-Werke GmbH, as well as the Board of Ford Getrag Transmission (GFT) GmbH through May 2010.
From September 2000 to February 2004, Behrendt was Director for Global Body and Exterior Purchasing. Prior to September 2000, Behrendt was a Program Manager for Vehicle Procurement Operations and Manager of Global Strategy for the Purchasing Business Office.
Behrendt was named “Woman of the Year” by Automotive News Europe magazine in January 2008 in recognition of her accomplishments in the automotive industry in Europe. She was also named as one of the “Top 25 Most Influential Business Women” by Financial Times Deutschland in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, she was named one of the 100 leading women in the North American auto industry by Automotive News and received the prestigious “Female Executive of the Year” Award from the Mestemacher Group in Germany. Behrendt was also named to Diversity Journal's “2011 Women Worth Watching” list. Since 2012, Behrendt has served on the Board of Directors of the German-American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Michigan Chapter.
Behrendt joined Ford in Cologne, Germany in 1978 as a Commercial Apprentice. She has a business degree from the Administration and Business Academy (Verwaltungs und Wirtschaftsakademie) in Cologne, Germany.