Ford Motor’s long-time top lobbyist is departing from the automaker to join SoftBank Group, which is ramping up its Washington efforts, the companies stated on Friday.
Ziad Ojakli, a Ford group vice president who is heading the Detroit automaker’s government relations strategy for 14 years and was a White House aide under President George W. Bush, is leaving the automaker on July 15. He will join SoftBank effective August 1 and establish its U.S. government affairs practice.
“Ziad is one of the world’s most successful and respected government affairs executives with a proven track record handling issues for large global entities where business interests intersect with public policy,” stated Marcelo Claure, chief operating officer of Softbank Group and chairman of its Sprint Corp unit.
Softbank is looking for regulatory approval in Washington for Sprint to tie-up with T Mobile US Inc.
“As SoftBank delivers on its dedication to invest in the U.S. economy, our international portfolio of companies will advantage tremendously from his expertise,” Claure stated.
Ford faces numerous challenges in Washington, such as ongoing trade issues, and the Trump administration’s plan to modify fuel economy standards through 2025.
Last week, President Donald Trump said SoftBank Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son was increasing his investment in the United States to $72 billion, remarkably more than the $50 billion he had pledged earlier.