Ford to tap chief operating officer Fields as CEO's successor
Ford Motor Co., the nation's second-largest automaker, will soon name Mark Fields its next chief executive officer and reveal when CEO Alan Mulally will retire from the company he is credited with saving, according to two people familiar with the pending announcement.
Mulally, 68, will step down before the end of the year and be succeeded by Fields, 53, who is chief operating officer, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as having revealed internal plans. The Dearborn, Mich.-based company could announce the moves as soon as May 1, the people said.
The transition will bring an end to a storied chapter in Ford's history, in which the automaker narrowly avoided bankruptcy thanks to Mulally's management and a bet-the-business $23 billion loan. Mulally signed off on the loan shortly after arriving from Boeing Co. in 2006 and turned around the automaker by slashing costs and overhauling its lineup with stylish, fuel-efficient models that have won over a new generation of drivers.
Ford plans to make this announcement now to provide clarity on its leadership and an orderly transition of power, the people said. Fields, a 25-year veteran of Ford, emerged as Mulally's likely successor when he was promoted to COO in December 2012.
“There were these rumblings about how long Mulally was going to stay, and that caused a distraction,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst with auto researcher Kelley Blue Book. “They decided, ‘We're not going to wait until everybody's jabbing them about what's going on at Ford.' ”
Mulally will not fade from view in retirement to pursue his passions for golf and tennis, the people said. Rather, he is lining up a post-Ford position that will keep him involved in corporate governance or business policy, they said.
Last year, Microsoft Corp. considered Mulally as its next CEO until the auto executive took himself out of the running in January.
Fields was tabbed to become Ford's No. 2 executive after leading the automaker's North American operations from deep losses to record profits.
Under Mulally and Fields, Ford managed to avoid the bailouts and bankruptcies that befell General Motors and Chrysler.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Experts: If health insurers’ safeguard goes broke, consumers could pay
- Kings Family Restaurants sold to California firm
- Rules could kick door open for nuclear power
- Camera prevalence approaches sci-fi realm
- Nike, Under Armour invest in watching exercisers’ steps
- Tech sector drives gains on Wall Street
- Scented society is killing cheap perfume industry
- Visa limits vex businesses
- Paper’s prevalence unlikely to diminish
- Pittsburgh union serving TV, film production looking for lots of help
- MedExpress bought by United Health Group