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Elena Anne Ford-Niarchos
May 25, 1966 (age 53)
|Other names||Elena Ford-Niarchos|
|Alma mater||New York University[when?]|
|Occupation||Chief Customer Experience Officer, Ford Motor Company|
Stanley Jozef Olender
(m. 1991; div. 1996)
Joseph Daniel Rippolone
(m. 1996; div. 2008)
Ford joined the Ford Motor Company in 1995 as a marketing executive. On March 1, 2012, Ford took over a new global unit within the company, the Dealer and Consumer Experience group. She was responsible for standardizing the way dealerships interact with customers around the world and oversees global dealer strategy, planning, training and consumer experience. By March 2013, Ford became a vice-president of the company, making her one of thirty-eight officers running the company. She became the first female Ford family member to hold a leadership position at Ford.
She later was named the company's director of global marketing, and was responsible for marketing, product management and sales support activities for Ford Motor Company. During this time, she marketed the company's development into mobility services. In October 2018, Ford was announced as the company's first chief customer experience officer. The role works in the customer service division as well as sales and marketing to aid customers throughout the entire ownership cycle of a vehicle.
Elena Anne Ford-Niarchos was born on May 25, 1966 in New York City to Charlotte Ford and Greek shipping tycoon, Stavros Niarchos. After her parents divorced in 1967, Ford's mother married J. Anthony Forstmann in 1973. Her mother married Edward Downe Jr., the founder and chairman of Downe Communications in 1986.
She received a bachelor's degree in business from New York University. In 1991, Ford married Stanley Jozef Olender, the owner of Stanley O's, an estate maintenance service in Southampton, New York. In 1996, she divorced Olender and married Joseph Daniel Rippolone, a plumber, mechanic, builder, and inventor.
In 2008, Ford and Rippolone divorced by mutual agreement. In 2011, Ford pleaded guilty to charges of drunk driving and child endangerment, and was sentenced to two years' probation. Ford was involved in a dispute with her half-siblings by her father's third wife, Eugenia Livanos. Stavros Niarchos stipulated in his will that no one had the right to touch his billions until 2009, and two Swiss court decisions have effectively bound the hands of the Niarchos heirs from any inheritance.
Ford is the great-great-granddaughter of company founder Henry Ford, and a granddaughter of longtime Ford Motor Company president Henry Ford II. She has stated that her grandfather was her best friend, and taught her how to drive from a F-100 pickup with a stick shift.
- USA Today, Elena Ford is first woman Ford family member to hold a significant position at the automaker. February 15, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
- Keith Naughton (2018-10-15). "Henry Ford Heir Named to Top Customer Service Post at Automaker". Bloomberg Business.
- "Elana Ford is named VP of automaker", Detroit Free Press, February 15, 2012, page 12A
- Alyssa Newcomb (2016-03-25). "Henry Ford's Great-Great Granddaughter's Vision for No-Stress Driving and Car Ownership". ABC News.
- Ian Thibodeau (2018-10-15). "Ford heir to lead global push for better service". The Detroit News.
- Enid Nemy (1973-05-02). "Charlotte Ford Is Wed to J. A. Forstmann". The New York Times.
- "Elena Ford". The Detroit News. 2009-01-28.
- "Elena Ford-Niarchos Is Married To Stanley Olender in Southampton". The New York Times. 1991-10-06.
- WEDDINGS;Elena Ford and Joseph Rippolone - New York Times
- "TAMPA BAY: A love of cars, the family name shape a Ford". sptimes.com. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- "Elena Ford pleads guilty in DUI case, receives probation". Automotive News. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- Maggie Barry (2014-08-15). "Elena Ford - granddaughter of Henry Ford II is focused on customers". Daily Record.