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Tony Brown

In August 2013, Tony retired as group vice president of purchasing at Ford Motor Co., where he was instrumental in the company's turnaround on the brink of bankruptcy. In this position, Tony managed approximately $90 billion of production and non-production goods and services for operations worldwide. Tony is best known for his work during the auto crisis, when Ford mortgaged nearly everything, including the Blue Oval, to avoid bankruptcy. He launched a secret initiative called Project Quark, through which Ford worked with Toyota Motor Corp. to prop up the struggling supply base.

Tony also reorganized Ford's supplier structure, consolidating the supply base into about a third the size from when he inherited it. He put a strong emphasis on positive supplier relations, which had often been adversarial. At the time of his retirement, Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally said, "Tony Brown is a world-class business leader who has helped to transform Ford's relationships with our global supplier partners," and, "Tony's leadership and dedication to working together have helped Ford and our supplier partners emerge from the recent global transformation of the auto industry well-positioned for future growth."

Prior to joining Ford in 1999, Tony held a variety of senior supply chain and purchasing leadership positions, including vice president of supply chain management for United Technologies Corp. and executive director of purchasing and transportation for QMS, Inc., a maker and provider of networked enterprise printing solutions.

Tony serves on the boards of 3M, ConAgra Foods and Tower International.

He has been honored by Rainbow/PUSH with the “Keep Hope Alive” award, and by the National Action Network as a recipient of the “Keeper of the Dream” award