Elena Ford

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Elena Ford
Elena Ford
Elena Ford at the Houston Call Center
Elena Anne Ford-Niarchos

May 25, 1966 (1966-05-25) (age 55)
Other namesElena Ford-Niarchos
Alma materNew York University
OccupationChief Customer Experience Officer, Ford Motor Company
Stanley Jozef Olender
(m. 1991; div. 1996)

Joseph Daniel Rippolone
(m. 1996; div. 2008)
Parent(s)Stavros Niarchos
Charlotte Ford
RelativesHenry Ford II (grandfather)
Philip Niarchos (half-brother)
Spyros Niarchos (half-brother)

Elena Anne Ford-Niarchos (born May 25, 1966) is an American-Greek businesswoman. She is the Chief Customer Experience Officer at Ford Motor Company and the first female Ford family member to hold an executive position at the company.[1]


Ford worked in advertising as a senior account executive at Wells, Rich Greene Advertising in New York City.[2] In 1995, she joined Ford Motor Company as a marketing executive.[3] She was later named the company's director of global marketing and was responsible for marketing, product management, and sales support activities. During this time, she marketed the company's development into mobility services.[4]

In 2012, Elena was assigned to lead the global Dealer and Consumer Experience group. She was responsible for standardizing the way dealerships interact with customers around the world and oversaw global dealer strategy, planning, training and consumer experience.[5]

In 2013, Elena became Vice President, Customer Experience and Global Dealer, making her one of thirty-eight officers running the company and the first female Ford family member to hold an executive leadership position.[6]

In October 2018, Elena Ford was announced as the company's first Chief Customer Experience Officer. In this role, she leads the organization in creating a world-class customer experience for all Ford customers.[7]

In 2019, she spearheaded the launch of a 500-person call center in Houston, TX, providing support for Ford truck owners and dealers experiencing technical issues. She also launched Ford’s “Own the Call” initiative.[8]


Elena Ford
Elena Ford at the Houston Call Center

Elena Anne Ford-Niarchos was born in New York City to Charlotte Ford and Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos.[9] After her parents divorced in 1967,[9] Elena's mother married J. Anthony Forstmann in 1973[10] and later Edward Downe Jr., the founder and chairman of Downe Communications in 1986.[11]

Elena is the great-great-granddaughter of company founder Henry Ford, and granddaughter of longtime Ford Motor Company president Henry Ford II.[5] Elena was close to her maternal grandfather, Henry Ford II, once referring to him as her best friend. Henry taught Elena to drive a stick shift in his F-100 Ford pick-up truck insisting she learned to drive a manual and not an automatic.[12]

Ford received a bachelor's degree in business from New York University.[13] In 1991, she married Stanley Jozef Olender, the owner of Stanley O's, an estate maintenance service in Southampton, New York.[14] In 1996, she divorced Olender and married Joseph Daniel Rippolone.[15] In 2008, Ford and Rippolone divorced by mutual agreement.[16]

In 1997 Ford and her half-siblings were involved in a dispute regarding their father’s estate. A Greek court ruled that Ford and her siblings had no right to her father's inheritance due to Greek law.[17] In 2011, Ford pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and child endangerment, and was sentenced to two years' probation.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Press, Alissa Priddle, Detroit Free. "Heiress Elena Ford is named a vice president of Ford". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  3. ^ Keith Naughton (2018-10-15). "Henry Ford Heir Named to Top Customer Service Post at Automaker". Bloomberg Business.
  4. ^ Alyssa Newcomb (2016-03-25). "Henry Ford's Great-Great Granddaughter's Vision for No-Stress Driving and Car Ownership". ABC News.
  5. ^ a b "Elena Ford: driven to succeed". ArabianBusiness.com. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  6. ^ "Elana Ford is named VP of automaker", Detroit Free Press, February 15, 2012, page 12A
  7. ^ Ian Thibodeau (2018-10-15). "Ford heir to lead global push for better service". The Detroit News.
  8. ^ Thibodeau, Ian. "Ford opens call center focused on truck owners". Detroit News. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  9. ^ a b "Notes on People". The New York Times. 1971-10-22. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  10. ^ Enid Nemy (1973-05-02). "Charlotte Ford Is Wed to J. A. Forstmann". The New York Times.
  11. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1986/09/01/style/charlotte-ford-wed-to-edward-downe-jr.html
  12. ^ Maggie Barry (2014-08-15). "Elena Ford - granddaughter of Henry Ford II is focused on customers". Daily Record.
  13. ^ "Elena Ford". The Detroit News. 2009-01-28.
  14. ^ "Elena Ford-Niarchos Is Married To Stanley Olender in Southampton". The New York Times. 1991-10-06.
  15. ^ WEDDINGS;Elena Ford and Joseph Rippolone - New York Times
  16. ^ "TAMPA BAY: A love of cars, the family name shape a Ford". sptimes.com. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  17. ^ "Court rules Ford granddaughter has no right to shipping inheritance". AP NEWS. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  18. ^ "Elena Ford pleads guilty in DUI case, receives probation". Automotive News. Retrieved 19 June 2015.

External links[edit]