Ford has officially announced that Mark Fields will replace Alan Mulally as company CEO on 1 July. Mulally has served at Ford for just less than eight years.
Fields, aged 53, is currently Chief Operating Officer, has risen up through the Ford ranks over his 25 years at the company, including spells at Mazda and overseeing Jaguar when it was part of the Premier Automotive Group. Mulally will retire and won’t serve on the Ford board, according to reports.
Bill Ford, great grandson of Henry Ford and company executive chairman said: "Alan’s commitment to positive leadership and working together, coupled with a relentless implementation of our One Ford plan, changed our culture in lasting and meaningful ways. Under his leadership, Ford’s status as one of the world’s leading automakers was restored, as evidenced by our 19 consecutive quarters of profitability."
Alan Mulally was recruited from Boeing, where he began his career as an engineer and eventually became vice president of the aeroplane maker. His greatest achievement at Ford is seen as the far-sighted decision to mortgage all of Ford’s assets (including the Blue Oval badge) in 2006 for a £14bn loan. This ensured that when the global economy was hit by the Credit Crunch Ford did not fall into bankruptcy like its rivals Chrysler and General Motors, and so it didn’t require government bailouts.
Mulally also led the ‘One Ford’ programme, which saw the company divest itself of Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo and move to a policy of selling the same basic Ford models in all global markets.