Ford Motor, the second largest US automaker, has had a new chief executive officer since last year, but it’s only now that Mark Fields had the opportunity to preside over his first annual shareholders meeting.
The Ford investors have been worried lately because of the company’s declining stock value as the company has seen a few quarters with lagging profit records – but the CEO promised a return to growth after the year’s second part. “We’re poised for a breakthrough year for our company,” commented Fields during the automaker’s annual meeting in Wilmington, Delaware. “We expect our results will grow progressively stronger, mainly in the second half, as the new products that we’ve been launching start to really pay off.” Fields said he was hard at work meeting the kind of earnings increases delivered by his predecessor, Alan Mulally, who retired in 2014 after helping the automaker navigate a complete turnaround plan following the 2009 worldwide financial disaster.
Analysts say the stock hasn’t moved in around two years, but the company shows its strategy will soon pay off – since Fields, 54, became chief executive officer on July 1, 2014, the Ford holding has plunged 11 percent, with shareholders noting during the meeting Ford’s stock has fallen behind the Standard&Poor 500 in the past one, two, five and ten years. During the meeting on Thursday, the stake holders also declined to support a proposal that would have the founding family lose its 40 percent voting rights over the company and get just one vote per share, though the idea gained a larger audience – 36.3 percent in favor instead of 34.4 percent in 2014.