SHANGHAI--Whitney Small, regional director of communications at Ford Asia-Pacific and Africa, has departed the company.

Small told the Holmes Report that she had made the “very tough decision” under medical advice, because of continued health problems caused by air pollution levels in Shanghai. She leaves Ford after six years in the role, a spell that has coincided with the company’s dramatic turnaround.

Small’s duties have since been assumed by Karen Hampton, who has moved to Shanghai after previously serving as global corporate communications director for the company. Small will now concentrate on two projects: one, a book on communications in Asia, and the other a series of book apps for young adult readers.

“Once these projects are completed I will see what life brings next,” said Small, regarding a potential return to the communications industry.

Prior to joining Ford in 2006, Small spent four years heading the Hoffman Agency in Asia, She also held senior roles at the Walt Disney Company and Burson-Marsteller Thailand.