Mulally has not told Ford when he will step down image

Ford CEO Alan Mulally said he has not told the board when he will step down, although various press reports say he could retire as early as next year.

Aged 67, Mulally steered Ford through the financial crisis and kept the company’s pride intact as Ford was the only U.S. carmaker that wasn’t bailed out by the government. Mulally was in New York on Tuesday to promote the 2013 Ford Fusion, with other top executives doing the same thing in four other cities. None of them gave any updates on who will succeed Mulally at the helm of Ford Motor Company.

This month’s Ford board meetings generated reports of a plan to create the position of chief operating officer for Mark Fields, president of The Americas sales region. Fields himself was in Los Angeles to promote the Fusion and did a series of pre-scheduled interviews on the car, after which he joined journalists for test drives. However, in a last-minute change of plans, Fields flew home after fulfilling his morning obligations, avoiding questions from the media.

Ford spokespersons said he had to return to Dearborn because of negotiations with Canadian Auto Workers union. Ford and the CAW reached a tentative agreement on a four-year deal on Monday that is subject to ratification.