Ford’s Matt VanDyke leaving company, named president of digital marketing vendor

Jessica Thompson

Matt VanDyke, a longtime Ford Motor Co. marketing executive who last year became CEO of the company’s FordDirect joint venture with dealers, is leaving the automaker to become president of Shift Digital, a digital marketing vendor.

VanDyke will assume the new role June 28.

“Consumer purchasing habits are dramatically changing as more individuals embrace the digital buying experience, and it is critical that automakers and dealers deliver an exceptional consumer experience at the brand level and dealers’ individual sites,” VanDyke said in a statement. “The opportunity to join Shift Digital enables me to expand my knowledge and impact more brands and retailers as the industry goes through this digital evolution.”

Shift Digital said it is in the midst of expanding its automotive clients and adding new ones in the powersports, heavy equipment and hospitality industries. It has more than 600 employees with five offices in North America.

A Ford spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment and it was not immediately clear who would replace VanDyke as CEO of FordDirect.

VanDyke spent 14 years at Ford in a variety of marketing roles. From 2018 to 2021, he was the company’s director of marketing, in charge of leading Ford’s integrated communications, digital consumer experience, brand alliances, revenue management and retail go-to-market strategies.

In recent years, he helped guide the marketing strategy around the launch of the redesigned F-150 and new Bronco SUV, and led the company’s “Built for America” and “Built to Lend a Hand” ad campaigns.

Since early 2021 he has served as CEO of FordDirect, a joint venture between the company and its retail network tasked with helping dealers sell more vehicles with data-based marketing and advertising.

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