Alumni engagement and philanthropy


26 July 2016

Lyle Alexander Watters, the holder of a BSSc in Business Administration and an MBA from Queen’s who joined Ford of Britain as a Financial Analyst in 1987, has been named Vice President of the Ford Motor Company and President of Ford South America.

Taking up the new roles on 1 August and based in Sao Paulo, Lyle Watters will have responsibility for leading all Ford operations in continent.

Speaking exclusively to Queen’s, Lyle said: “I’m really looking forward to returning to South America to lead Ford Motor Company’s operations in the region.  At the moment, it’s an interesting time economically in South America, but I’m excited about the challenges and opportunities that presents."

Born in 1965 and originally from Tobermore in Co Londonderry where he still has family, Lyle Watters was, until recently, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Finance and Strategic Planning at Ford of Europe.

Now one of the highest ranking local men in the car industry globally, Lyle Watters passed his driving test just a couple of weeks after his 17th birthday.

After studying Business Administration at Queen’s, he was awarded a Wilforge Scholarship to do an MBA, finishing top of his class and winning the Sir Charles Harvey Award.

“I graduated from Queen’s 29 years ago and believe it provided me with a good foundation. I’m very fortunate to have retained close
friendships from my time there,” said Lyle. 

During his time with Ford he has held numerous positions in Europe and America. He was appointed Director of Treasury at Ford of Europe in 1998, became Financial Controller of the Ford Premier Automotive Group in 2000 and after 2003, was Global Marketing and Sales Finance Director of Jaguar and Land Rover owned by Ford. From 2005 to 2008, he managed Business Development and Strategic Planning at Ford of Europe before becoming CFO of Ford of South America from October 2008 to March 2012. In April 2012, he returned to Germany as CFO and Vice President – Finance and Strategic Planning of Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa. Mr Watters has been serving on the Board of Directors of Ford Otosan (Turkey) and the Ford Sollers board of directors in Russia since 2012.

Married to Rhonda and father of Olivia (20), who is studying Law at Bristol and Amelia (14), Lyle currently spends Monday to Thursday in Cologne and the rest of week in Essex, a commute that is set to change dramatically in the coming days.

For further information on studying business or taking an MBA course at Queen’s visit the Queen’s Management School website.

For more on Ford, Lyle Watters appointment, the company’s products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit or contact: Mike Moran 001 313 322 1602.

General inquiries to Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office; tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.  




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