Motormindz, an automotive consultancy that serves OEMs, technology providers, mobility and automotive retail, added two former FCA and Ford executives to its team.
One of those new additions is Steve Beahm, former FCA senior vice president, head of Maserati, passenger car brands and Mopar.
The second is Joe Bakaj, former vice president, product development, for Ford of Europe.
“I'm humbled to be working with respected leaders like John Felice, Don Johnson and Jim O'Sullivan, just to name a few of the leaders on the motormindz bench,” Beahm said in a news release.
For 32 years at Chrysler/FCA, Beahm was viewed as a strategic leader with a track record in the industrial and commercial organizations, according to motormindz.
Beahm started out working in various regional offices, where his leadership roles were in the areas of service, parts, sales and marketing.
He was promoted to vice president of sales for all FCA brands in 2009, and according to motormindz, FCA was the fastest-growing OEM in the United States during Beahm’s tenure.
Beahm joined FCA’s leadership team in 2014 as senior vice president of supply chain. In that post, he served on the commercial, product and industrial committees. In addition, in 2015 he earned the honor of North American supply chain executive of the year.
Beahm also ran Maserati North America, and he moved the headquarters to Auburn Hills, Mich., with the other FCA brands.
At the end of his tenure with FCA, he ran all passenger car brands (Dodge, Chrysler and FIAT) along with Mopar, FCA’s service and parts organization. He was in that leadership post when Dodge introduced the Redeye and Mopar launched the 1,000-horsepower Hellephant.
“I am excited to join a team of industry peers that are all focused on innovation and delivering game changing solutions to our industry,” Beahm said.
As for Bakaj, motormindz says he was recognized as a leading auto industry global product development executive during his 34 years at Ford Motor Co.
He began his career in Ford’s U.K.-based product development center at Dunton. He went on to progress through management roles in Ford of Europe Powertrain, Chassis and Vehicle Engineering.
In 2000, Bakaj came to North America as vehicle engineering director for trucks.
He led vehicle engineering for the F-150, which won the North American International Autoshow Truck of the Year during his tenure.
He moved on in 2002 to lead Mazda’s Japan-based global product development team. Returning to Europe in 2005, he was appointed a corporate officer and vice president, product development. In that post, he led Ford’s first wave of global programs.
Bakaj was appointed vice president global powertrain in 2011, and in that position he initiated and co-chaired Ford’s global CO2 strategy forum. He also developed and implemented Ford’s next-generation engine, transmission and electrification strategies.
He would go on to lead the development of the 1.0L, 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine, which won the International Engine of the Year award for six consecutive years, according to motormindz.
He took on an expanded role in 2013 as vice president product development.
In that post, he led the planning and development of Ford’s latest C car platform.
He also played a leading role for the Transit Commercial vehicle line.
Bakaj also led the strategic planning and business case development for Ford of Europe’s next-generation BEVs.
“I was really attracted to motormindz's vision and strategic approach to shaping the future of the industry, Bakaj said.
He continued, “I have worked closely with ‘mindz’ such as Jim O'Sullivan, John Felice and Bruce Coventry in the past and have great respect for their knowledge and industry insights. I am very proud to be joining the team.”
At the end of 2019, motormindz added additional members to its team:
— Mark Potesta has more than 30 years of leadership experience in innovation, global business P&Ls and sales.
Motormindz describes him as an expert in development of EE architectures and delivering “market impactful products with strong value propositions.” He has held senior vice president and chief technology officer positions, as well as additional senior executive positions at Gentherm, Panasonic, Delphi and GM.
— John Marx’s 27 years of auto-industry experience includes global product strategy and business planning executive leadership positions at the OEM and tier one levels with Ford, Visteon, Gentherm and Jabil.
“John has driven profitable growth through product portfolio innovation and new market expansion,” motormindz said.
— Barry Burris has worked globally with distributors and dealers for Nissan and Infiniti.
Motormindz said Burris’ 35 years of sales, marketing and network knowledge includes expertise in the area of integrating wholesale and front-line best practices for the best results.
— Mark Kudla’s 30 years of experience has included advising startups and working at Ford and FCA.
He was responsible for FCA’s NAFTA product portfolio. That included the 10-year product plan, “white space” initiatives and business case analysis for new programs.
“Having such impressive executives join the mission illustrates how motormindz continues to attract the largest network of automotive and technology subject-matter experts ever assembled,” said motormindz chief executive officer Jeff Van Dongen.
He continued, “These additions will help us continue to elevate, iterate, and innovate our unique model to produce ever more intelligent, viable and scalable solutions for OEMs, dealers, tiered suppliers and fleets.”
Van Dongen also said, “Bringing this kind of real-world experience, proprietary access, and operational leverage together enables us to rapidly identify and expand new product ecosystems that capitalize on the opportunities brought on by the ever-evolving automotive consumer, by helping our clients learn what they need to know, rather than repackaging what they already know.”