Ford’s board of directors decided to keep Mulally as the company’s nonexecutive chairman after his retirement.
The board held a meeting on Thursday, September 13th, in Dearborn, Michigan, and decided to name Mulally nonexecutive chairman and promote Mark Fields from the head of Ford’s North and South American operations, to chief operating officer. Mulally is expected to retire at the end of 2013 but no one really knows for sure when will he leave the company.
Mark Fields, 51, joined the company in 1989 and promoting him to COO will be the clear proof that that he is the one to succeed Mulally. Ford didn’t have a COO since 2006. Since 2005 Fields was responsible for of Ford’s largest business unit, North America, and he was the one to initiate the first wave of plant closures and job cuts, part of the plan called ‘Way Forward.’
In September 2006 Mulally was named Ford’s CEO and he gained respect and acclaim for managing to get the company back to profitability in the last 6 years, thanks to a $23 billion loan and his ‘One Ford’ plan, which included maximizing economies of scale and reducing car platforms.
“The longer you can tap Alan’s expertise, the more beneficial it will be for Ford,” said Jefferies analyst Peter Nesvold.