DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Credit Company announced that Bernard Silverstone has been appointed chief operating officer. The captive finance company also announced that its former president of marketing and sales was elected as Ford’s corporate officer, a position he will assume on Jan. 1, 2012.

In his new role, Silverstone will lead Ford Credit's operations in its four global regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa, and Latin America. He'll also lead marketing, sales and brand, business center operations, quality and process management, and insurance operations. He will continue to report to Mike Bannister, Ford executive vice president and Ford Credit chairman and CEO.

"Bernard's global operating experience and deep knowledge of the financing business will serve us well as Ford Credit grows its business to support Ford's growth plans," Bannister said. "He'll sharpen our focus on further aligning our operations globally, and provide strong leadership as we continue to profitably support Ford, its dealers and customers."

Silverstone’s current responsibilities include senior management responsibility for international operations, which covers all Ford Credit business units outside the United States and Canada. He was previously chairman of Ford Credit Europe.

Silverstone has been with Ford Credit for 32 years, joining Ford Credit Britain as a field representative. He has held a wide variety of staff, operations and leadership positions in the U.S., the UK and Australia markets, and had regional responsibilities for various European and Asia Pacific operations.