Two top Ford executives will trade jobs in a series of management changes the Dearborn automaker announced today.

Jim Farley, who has been executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service since 2007, becomes president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. Stephen Odell, the current head of Ford operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, becomes Ford’s global marketing chief. Both will continue to report to Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO.

This is the first major shakeup since Mark Fields took over as CEO in July.

“We are excited to see Jim and Stephen take on these new roles as they bring unique skills, experience and fresh perspectives to these critical positions,” said Fields in a statement. “These moves also underscore our commitment to develop our senior leaders through deep experience within both our business units and our global skill teams.”

Farley, 52, has led Ford’s effort to connect more closely with customers through integrated global marketing, advertising, digital communications, brand development and research.

The move gives Farley operational experience running a region and the challenge is daunting. Sales in Europe continue to sag and Ford has had to retract its forecast of turning a profit in the region next year. Ford now expects to lose $1.2 billion in Europe this year.

Odell, 59, has led the company’s European operations since 2010. In that position Odell has been instrumental in leading the development of Ford’s European restructuring and to boost sales in the Middle East and Africa. Before that he served as president of Volvo from 2008 to 2010 when Ford sold the Swedish automaker. Odell has previous marketing experience.

Ford also announced that Nick Smither, group vice president and chief information officer, will retire after more than 34 years at Ford. Succeeding Smither will be Marcy Klevorn.

Smither, 56, led the information technology services function for North America, South America, International Operations, the Premier Automotive Group and Mazda since 2008.

“The integrated IT approach that Nick brought to our teams has helped Ford become a faster, more agile and more innovative company,” said Fields. “By leveraging our global scale and standardizing Ford’s technology blueprint across our regions, Nick has enabled the IT function to drive efficiencies in every area of the business. We are grateful for his passion and leadership during three decades with Ford and congratulate him on his retirement.”

Klevorn, 55, will report to Fields and will oversee the information technology services and strategy for all of the company’s operations globally. She currently is responsible for developing Ford’s information technology’s global strategy, security, governance, operating model and supplier management globally, as well as emerging technologies.

Robert Brown, 59, vice president for sustainability, environment & safety engineering, also will retire after more than 35 years at Ford. Kim Pittel will succeed him.

Pittel, 55, is currently executive director, Global Supplier Technical Assistance, will succeed Brown and serve as the company’s top environment and safety officer. She will report to Fields.

In her new role, Pittel, 55, will be responsible for the continued development and implementation of the company’s global environment and safety strategy, policy and performance, and Ford’s Blueprint for Sustainability.

All retirements and appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Appointed to his current role in 2012, Brown, 59, has been responsible for overseeing Ford’s sustainability strategy and environmental policy, while ensuring that the company meets or exceeds all safety and environmental regulations worldwide. He also has been leading the company’s safety strategy, promoting aggressive standardization of product technology that improves safety.