Ford to Introduce New CEO Mark Fields

Current CEO of Ford Motors, Alan Mulally, plans to retire before the end of the 2014 year. Ford’s current COO  Mark Fields will take his place as early as May 1st, 2014. The announcement of the change in leadership comes at this time to secure a smooth transition to the new CEO. It was assumed that Fields, 53, would become the next CEO when he was named the COO in 2012. However, Ford wanted to make it completely clear so that there was no confusion or questions about the new leadership within the organization.

Fields has been with Ford since 1989. He became the leader of Ford’s operations in Argentina in 1996. By 1998 he was in charge of running Mazda in Japan. In 2005, he was assigned to run North American operations. He was largely responsible for restructuring the company in 2006 by focusing on adjusting the company’s culture and rediscovering who its customers are.

Fields is known for his bluntness and his, “East Coast edge.” When asked if his workers should be worried about their pensions he replied, “Yes, yes, you should.” He says, “that’s a great motivator.” His goal was to try to get rid of the mindset that, “this will pass too.”

Fields seems like the logical choice for the new CEO and he seems to be highly motivated and eager to make adjustments to Ford to increase their success.

Sources:

http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2014/04/21/things-to-know-about-mark-fields-fords-heir-apparent/

NY Post, “Dreams of Fields at Ford”

3 comments to Ford to Introduce New CEO Mark Fields

  • Moody Heard

    Fields certainly has his work cut out for him and large shoes to fill. Alan Mulally has been an unusually successful CEO, amassing hundreds of millions of dollars in Ford’s net worth over his eight year career. Fields seems experienced and capable but has repeatedly emphasized the need for culture change in Ford. Seeing as how Ford has been at the top of Fortune 500 for years, I question the necessity of dramatic change.

  • Peter Wittwer

    It will be interesting to see how employees react to Fields’ bluntness. The fact he is threatening pensions could be a great motivator or his comments could be met with strong opposition. The auto industry has some huge unions such as the United Automobile Workers, which represents hundreds of thousands of auto employees. Unions could easily fight his threats to either have him ousted as CEO or get their pensions guaranteed. Although, the Unions getting Fields ousted or guaranteed pensions may be far fetched, it will be interesting to see the backlash that follows his comments concerning employee pensions.

  • Remember Mr. Cosgrove’s dictum: run scared.
     
    But unions oust a CEO? No. And remember that pensions are a white collar issue, too – Ford probably has more engineers and office workers than men and women on the line. This is a long-standing contract, and changing pensions and healthcare is in effect a pay cut, and I suspect Fields will not hold down senior executive salaries, even though a good part of what they receive is a result not of superior skill but of being in the right place at the right time.
     
    But remember that Fields helped design the “Way Forward” that morphed into “One Ford”. He’s clearly committed to the vision, and as anecdotes in the Vlasic book illustrate, stood out as willing to report red and then focus on making it green. We have good reason to believe that he will prove a good successor.

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