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Ford Names New CEO, Mark Fields

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Ford Motor Co. announced today that COO Mark Fields will replace CEO Alan Mulally come July 1.  Mulally’s departure from Ford was expected within the year, but the July 1 transition date is an earlier date than expected.  Mulally, who stepped in in 2006, led an incredible recovery at Ford over the last 8 years, starting with a $23.5 billion loan.  While some have voiced concern over the future success of Ford once Mulally stepped down, chairman Bill Ford has no qualms about the transition.  “Mark has been an architect of that culture along with the management here,” said Bill Ford in a recent interview.  Fields will be taking over Ford with record profit in North America, great success in China and ongoing recovery in Europe.  The transition should be smooth for Fields’ entry into the new position, with Ford’s vision of “One Ford” and “Way Forward” having coming to fruition in recent years.


One Comment

  1. Peter Wittwer
    Peter Wittwer

    I think Fields will be able to have a smooth transition as CEO at Ford. Fields, who is fairly young for such an important position at such a huge company, has been able to learn for a while under Mulally and will be able to continue on the path Ford has been going. Fields is definitely qualified and undoubtedly has the prowess as a businessman to flourish as a CEO. At 38 he was the youngest person to ever be in charge of a major Japanese company when Ford named him the head of Mazda Motor Corporation in 1998. In 2002, Fields became chairman of the Premier Automotive Group, which at the time included huge automotive companies such as Lincoln, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo Cars. Fields has also been serving as the COO since 2012 at Ford, an extremely important executive position. One aspect of FIelds’ character, which was brought into question in the Vlasic book is his temper. He is notorious for being a hothead, which was shown through the his feud with Don Leclair, Ford’s then CFO, as well as the UAW detesting Fields for his brash negotiating style. However, even Mulally had to be sent to a career coach during his time at Boeing, to smooth out his “rough edges.” At the end of the day, no CEO is going to be a saint, having an experienced and aggressive man like Fields at the helm of Ford will be good for them, so they hopefully will not experience another severe economic crisis. In the word of Fields, “Change or die, baby, that’s what it’s all about.” Hopefully the change from the Mulally era to the Fields era will be a good one filled with continued success for the entire Ford brand.

    May 2, 2014

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