DEARBORN: Ford Motor Co said yesterday that its Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields will succeed Alan Mulally as CEO, effective on July 1.
Mulally, 68, is credited with transforming the No. 2 US carmaker from a money-loser to a company that expects to realise a pretax profit of up to $8bn this year. He joined Ford in 2006 after a career at Boeing Co.
The naming of 53-year-old Fields as the next CEO, which the company’s board approved on Wednesday, was expected. Mulally has been a “hall of fame CEO” during his nearly eight years at the helm, said Bill Ford, who preceded Mulally as chief executive and is the company’s executive chairman. Bill Ford, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, said he would make sure the carmaker does not revert to a corporate culture he once described as having “more intrigue than czarist Russia.”
Bill Ford said the company looked at outside options to replace Mulally, but quickly decided Fields was the best option. Bill Ford described Fields as “battle tested” from his experience turning around the key North American operations, and said the changeover is possibly the company’s first-ever smooth transition at CEO.
Mulally said he has not decided on his plans after July 1, but was confident in Fields as his successor. “I have nothing left to teach him,” Mulally said.