Lawler had been chief executive of Ford Autonomous Vehicles and vice president of mobility partnerships.
He succeeds Tim Stone, who was named chief operating officer and CFO at Asapp, the New York provider of an artificial-intelligence-driven customer-care platform.
He has spent much of his 30 years at Ford in finance leadership and general management. He completes a new top tandem in the executive suite, joining Jim Farley, who began his tenure as Ford’s CEO Thursday.
"We are going to compete like a challenger – allocate capital to higher growth and return opportunities to create value," Farley said.
He said Ford is targeting consistent operating performance that includes adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of 8% of revenue with strong automotive adjusted free cash flow.
In other personnel news for Ford, Jeff Lemmer, its chief information officer, will retire Jan. 1 after 33 years with the company. A successor to Lemmer will be named soon, Ford said.
Morningstar analyst David Whiston has some enthusiasm for Farley.
“We look forward to seeing what Farley brings as a CEO, and we expect a more direct communication style than [former CEO Jim] Hackett’s,” he wrote in an August commentary.
“Farley is a passionate car person and brings a lifetime of auto experience both from Ford in the U.S., Europe, South America, and Lincoln.”
Whiston puts fair value for the stock at $8. It recently traded at $6.78, up 1.8%. The stock had fallen 28% year to date through Wednesday's close.