SOUTH AFRICA – Vehicle manufacturer Ford South Africa has appointed seasoned executive Yota Baron as its first female Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in the company’s 97-year history, the group has said.
Commenting on the appointment, Ford South Africa’s managing director, Neale Hill, said it was fitting that the announcement of Yota’s appointment was made in August, Women’s Month, as she would be Ford South Africa’s first female CFO.
“Her intimate knowledge of the local operations, matched to her extensive financial acumen on a global stage, will be invaluable during this exciting new chapter for Ford in South Africa. We also extend our gratitude to Pepe (Joseph Verga) for his sound financial leadership of the company over the past five years and wish him every success for his return to the US,” said Hill.
“I am humbled by my appointment to serve as Ford South Africa’s CFO, having the opportunity to pay forward my learnings and experience while working abroad. It is an honor and a privilege, and I look forward to contributing to Ford South Africa’s future success, serving in the communities we work in and being back under the African sun,” said Baron.
Ford said in a statement that Baron was instrumental in setting up the finance team in the regional Ford Dubai office for the Middle East and Africa, where she was responsible for the financial control of the marketing, sales and service division for two-and-a-half years, before taking over the role of profit manager in March 2018, a position she held until she was appointed CFO for Ford Direct Markets in September 2020.
In February 2021, Ford South Africa announced the biggest investment in its history when it said it would spend US$1.05 billion to boost its production capacity and create an additional 1,200 jobs, bringing the local workforce to 5,500.
Ford said annual installed capacity at the Silverton plant would be beefed up to 200,000 vehicles from 168,000, supporting the production of the all-new Ford Ranger pick-up truck for the domestic market and for export to more than 100 global markets.