Ford Appoints Chief Talent Officer from Search by Hanold Associates


Ford Motor Company has appointed Christopher Yates as Chief Talent Officer. Hanold Associates’ Keri Gavin and Ashley Schiele led the search for this Detroit-area based role.

Christopher Yates comes to Ford from Microsoft Corporation where he was General Manager – Global Learning & Development. Prior to that he was Chief Learning Officer, Director People & Organizational Development for Caterpillar Inc. At Ford, Mr. Yates will report to Chief Human Resources Officer, Kiersten Robinson, and will be responsible for driving Ford Motor Company’s enterprise-wide talent development vision, strategy, and programs by bringing a global perspective and embracing diversity of thought and experience.

“Chris is a phenomenal leader and an outstanding person,” said Keri Gavin, Hanold Partner. “He will be an incredible thought partner to Ford’s executive team. Chris is a visionary and he will be a transformative addition to their leadership as he drives Ford’s efforts to grow, engage, and inspire their workforce.”

Ford Motor Company is an iconic American multinational automaker. A cornerstone of American industry, the company is known for its countless innovations and time-honored vehicle models, from the Model T and the concept of the assembly line to the ever-popular Mustang and F-150 vehicle lines.

The company is comprised of three main segments: Automotive, Mobility, and Ford Credit. The automotive segment is the design, manufacturing, marketing and servicing of the company’s full line of cars, trucks, SUVs and electric vehicles, including the Lincoln luxury brand. The automotive unit sold nearly five and a half million vehicles in 2019 to 11,534 mostly independent dealerships. The Ford Credit segment is a variety of automotive financing products related to vehicle-related financing and leasing activities.

Ford’s mobility segment is dedicated to development in autonomous vehicles and mobility and associated investment in integration and research and development. Ford Smart Mobility is a recently founded subsidiary formed to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services, ensuring that Ford can remain a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data and analytics.

Ford is headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, not far from where Henry Ford founded the company in 1903. The company has 55 plants around the world, primarily in North America and Europe. The organization’s total headcount is approximately 190,000, mainly in the Automotive segment in North America. Ford Motor Company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker F.

Hanold Associates HR & Diversity Executive Search is a retained boutique executive search firm focused on HR and Diversity & Inclusion Officers and Board Directors. Our client list is diverse across industries, geographies and business scenarios, and culture is at the core of everything we do. Our clients include the National Football League, Zoom, Domino’s Pizza, Under Armour, Patagonia, Gucci, The New York Times, Tom Brady’s TB12, Kohler, REI, Live Nation Entertainment, Dick’s Sporting Goods, McDonald’s, Major League Baseball, Kellogg, Apollo, Big Ten Conference, Blackstone, TPG, L Catterton, Northwestern University, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Electronic Arts, Fiat-Chrysler, SC Johnson, eBay, Moderna, Hillrom, Great Place To Work, Fossil, Vail Resorts, AbbVie, Carnival Corp., Biogen, Allstate, Bridgestone, Wikimedia, ClubCorp, Nike, Abercrombie & Fitch, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Ford Motor Company, among others.