Navistar promotes Harmon, Kos to VP posts

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Navistar International Corp. on Monday, Sept. 17, announced the appointment of Jon F. Harmon as vice president of corporate communications. Navistar also announced the promotion of Heather Kos to vice president of investor relations.

Harmon joins Navistar from Force for Good Communications, a public relations consultancy he founded earlier this year. Previously, Harmon had worked for 23 years at Ford Motor Co. in public relations, including senior roles in product communications, corporate reputation management and strategic communications.

“Harmon brings to Navistar a wealth of leadership experience in all aspects of communications and public relations,” says Daniel C. Ustian, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Warrenville, Ill.-based Navistar. “He will bring a strategic mindset to Navistar’s communications team, and his insights in reputation management will help guide the company’s senior management.”

Harmon will report to Gregory Elliott, vice president of corporate human resources and administration. In addition to communications, Elliott’s responsibilities include government relations, compensation and benefits, facilities services, human resources and diversity.

At Force for Good Communications, Harmon founded an executive consultancy dedicated to “aspirational public relations.” His client work ranged from brand-building to crisis communications consultation. He also authors the Force for Good blog, analyzing current business topics through the lens of high-integrity communications.

At Ford, Harmon’s most recent roles were director of communications strategy and director of North American product public affairs. His experience at Ford included overseeing the launches of numerous vehicles, leading the public relations team at Ford Division, managing media relations during the Ford Centennial in 2003 and the Ford-Firestone tire crisis in 2000-01, and serving as the sole spokesperson during 1996 Ford-UAW labor negotiations.

Kos, 36, has been director of investor relations since January 2006. She will continue to work closely with Bill Caton, Navistar executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Terry M. Endsley, Navistar senior vice president and treasurer, to deliver the company’s message to the financial community.

“Heather’s proven success in leading the strategic direction of Navistar’s investor relations merits this expanded role,” Caton says. “Navistar is fortunate to have Heather’s working knowledge of our strategy and operations as we continue to communicate the company’s solid performance and future growth.”

Since joining the company in 1997, Kos has served in numerous positions in finance and strategy at International Truck and Engine Corp., Navistar’s operating company. Kos was director of finance for truck group reporting, where she successfully led a number of operating programs involving the company’s truck vehicle center; she also served as plant controller at the company’s Melrose Park, Ill., engine plant. Prior to joining International, Kos held a number of finance positions, including a consultant role with Price Waterhouse.