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New Ford CEO Fields Fares Well with $5 Mil Pay Package

Will fall short of predecessor Mulally's pay.

by on Jul.02, 2014

Ford's new CEO Mark Fields with the 2015 Edge.

He’s taking on more duties, but Ford Motor Co.’s new CEO Mark Fields also will be getting a few more dollars — and perks – after taking over for Alan Mulally, who retired as chief executive on Monday.

In a regulatory filing today, Ford disclosed that Fields will get a pay package in his new position worth at least $5.25 million. That’s on top of a lucrative stock option package, potential bonuses and other benefits including the use of a corporate jet.

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That’s still short of the pay package taken home by Mulally last year, as he began to wrap up his 8-year stint as Ford CEO, a position from which many credit the former Boeing executive with saving Ford – the only member of the Detroit Big Three not to have gone into bankruptcy or require a federal bailout package.

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Ford’s New CEO Mark Fields: A Detour Makes Him a “Better CEO”

A "WTF expression."

by on May.09, 2014

Ford Chairman Bill Ford, left, with Mark Fields, who will become the maker's new CEO on July 1.

Ford CEO-designate Mark Fields is happy to have been tapped by Ford chairman Bill Ford and the Dearborn automaker’s board of directors to succeed CEO Alan Mulally this July. But it wasn’t always so.

The day before Bill Ford announced that Alan Mullaly as CEO on Sept. 5, 2006, word of the Boeing Co. executive’s arrival at Ford was handed out to the senior staff, including Americas President Fields. After the meeting, Fields, who has long had a special relationship with Bill Ford, appeared in the scion’s office door with what Bill Ford described in an interview with me in 2007 as what might be described today as a “WTF expression.”

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Fields, then President of the Americas, had already started weaving the narrative in his head that he would, or at least might, succeed Bill Ford as CEO of Ford. The arrival of Mulally, an outsider, was throwing that story off the tracks. “I told him (Fields) very frankly that Alan was going to make him a much better CEO when his time came,” Bill Ford related in an interview with me.

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Mulally’s Departure the Worst-Kept Secret in Detroit

Bill Ford offers praise for CEOs old and new.

by on May.01, 2014

Despite an outside search, few expected Ford to turn to anyone but Mark Fields as its next CEO.

It was, arguably, the worst-kept secret in Detroit, but even when Ford issued an early morning news alert, an advisory to attend a session at its suburban headquarters, it wasn’t ready to confirm what almost everyone already knew: CEO Alan Mulally would be retiring, his replacement to be current Ford COO Mark Fields.

That isn’t to say there weren’t a few unknowns that had Detroit’s automotive news corps racing to “Glass House,” as the Ford office tower is known. For one thing, when would the transition take place – and would it result in a shake-up among the rest of Ford’s management team.

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In fact, Mulally acknowledged he would be leaving earlier than he had signaled previously, July 1, rather than waiting for the end of the year. But the 53-year-old Fields was getting the job he seemed destined for after being named chief operating officer in late 2012.

“I know this isn’t exactly a well kept secret,” said Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr., who said he was  pleased that the company could move forward with  a smooth leadership transition.

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Ford CEO Mulally to Retire July 1, Fields Named New CEO

Maker promises “orderly succession.”

by on May.01, 2014

Retiring Ford CEO Alan Mulally poses with the 2015 remake of the Mustang.

Promising an “orderly succession,” Ford today confirmed recent, widespread rumors that CEO Alan Mulally would be retiring, his successor to be the maker’s current Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields.

A former Boeing sensior executive, Mulally has won widespread praise during his eight-years at “Glass House,” Ford’s headquarters in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn. His One Ford strategy has been credited with helping the once-struggling automaker avoid the bankruptcy filings forced on cross-town rivals General Motors and Ford during the depths of the nation’s Great Recession. Fields, in turn, has been seen as the man that helped put Mulally’s strategy in play.

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From the first day we discussed Ford’s transformation eight years ago, Alan and I agreed that developing the next generation of leaders and ensuring an orderly CEO succession were among our highest priorities,” Executive Chairman Bill Ford – great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford — said. “Mark has transformed several of our operations around the world into much stronger businesses during his 25 years at Ford. Now, Mark is ready to lead our company into the future as CEO.”

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Last of a Generation: William Clay Ford Passes at 88

Interests ranged from automobiles to the NFL.

by on Mar.10, 2014

William Clay Ford Sr. with the then-new Continental Mark II that is considered his most successful car.

To most of those who knew him, he was simply “Mr. Ford,” the dignified yet surprisingly modest man who had a long and surprisingly varied career that ranged from the automotive design studio to the football field – as well as a wide range of community activities.

William Clay Ford Sr. passed away on Sunday at his Michigan home after suffering from pneumonia, six days before his 89th birthday.  The father of current Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford Jr., he was also the last surviving grandchild of the company’s founder, Henry Ford, and a bridge between two very different generations.

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“My father was a great business leader and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the company and the community,” son William Clay Ford Jr., said in a statement. “He also was a wonderful family man, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.”

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William Clay Ford, Ford Director Emeritus, Dies at 88

Owner of Detroit Lions was the last surviving grandchild of Henry Ford.

by on Mar.09, 2014

William Clay Ford, the last surviving grandson of Henry Ford, died today at age 88.

William Clay Ford, the last surviving grandchild of Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford, died this morning. Ford, who was Director Emeritus of the company, was 88 years old.

“My father was a great business leader and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the company and the community,” said William Clay Ford, Jr., executive chairman, Ford Motor Co. “He also was a wonderful family man, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him, yet he will continue to inspire us all.”

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Ford served in a variety of capacities during his 57-year career at the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker. He was named to the company’s board in 1948 and began working at the automaker after graduating from Yale in 1949. (more…)

Bill Ford Insists CEO Mulally Will Remain in Detroit

But new reports indicate Microsoft board continues to consider Ford chief exec.

by on Oct.02, 2013

CEO Alan Mulally with Chairman Bill Ford.

Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford Jr. has stepped into the swirl surrounding reports that the automaker’s CEO Alan Mulally might soon leave for a job with Microsoft.

The 68-year-old Mulally was recruited from Boeing seven years ago and has been widely linked to the search for a new CEO by Microsoft which is also Seattle-based. In fact, despite Ford’s insistence, new reports by the Bloomberg news service indicate the computer giant’s board of directors is still actively considering Mulally as the replacement for CEO Steve Ballmer who announced in August plans to retire within a year.

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Don’t tell that to 56-year-old Ford Chairman Bill Ford, however. Asked about Mullaly’s possible move to Microsoft, he told Bloomberg Television that, “The plan is he’s going to stick around. I’m happy he’s sticking around.” But the Ford family heir quickly added that, “We also feel really good about where we are in terms of succession.”

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Will Car Sales Plunge Off the Fiscal Cliff?

Washington’s deadlock could kill auto industry momentum.

by on Dec.31, 2012

GM Chairman Dan Akerson: "quite concerned" about the fast-approaching fiscal cliff.

Preliminary estimates suggest December will be one of the best months the U.S. auto industry has seen in years, with sales up by as much as 15% year-over-year – but in the final hours of 2012 industry officials seem worried that the good times could be over all too soon.

As one of the most expensive items a consumer will buy – and as a discretionary purchase that usually can be postponed – analysts anticipate the auto industry will see a severe drop-off in demand if Washington lawmakers fail to meet the midnight deadline and send the U.S. economy hurtling over the so-called fiscal cliff.

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“We’re watching (the negotiations in Congress) very closely,” General Motors CEO Dan Akerson said this month, adding that he is “quite concerned” there won’t be a settlement in time to prevent a sharp rise in taxes for the average American – along with significant cuts in critical spending programs.

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All in the Family: The Ford’s Get Back World’s Oldest Ford

Third car off the line returns home after 109 years.

by on Dec.17, 2012

Henry Ford's great-grandson Ford Chairman Bill Ford with a 1903 Ford Model A.

While the Model T is perhaps the best-known product ever built by the Ford Motor Co. – and voted the “Car of the Century” by a group of automotive media and experts from around the world, it was actually the Model A that put the company in gear.

And a 1903 Model A Rear Entry Tonneau recently returned home after a circuitous, 109-year journey. Purchased at auction last October but only being displayed by the maker, it’s the oldest known surviving Ford vehicle.

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“The timing was perfect to bring this key part of Ford heritage back to the family as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of my great-grandfather’s birth and his vision to improve people’s lives by making cars affordable for the average family,” said Bill Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford and the family firm’s current chairman. “His vision to build cars that are reasonably priced, reliable and efficient still resonates and defines our vision today as well.”

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Fields Named New Ford COO – But Mulally Remains CEO Until “At Least 2014”

Farley, four other senior execs get expanded duties.

by on Nov.01, 2012

Mark Fields becomes the new Ford COO and heir-designate to succeed CEO Alan Mulally.

Ford Motor Co. has come a step closer to resolving two of the most frequently heard questions in the automotive industry, but it has not given a complete answer as to when CEO Alan Mulally will step down – and who will succeed him.

But a strong clue emerged Thursday morning with news that Mark Fields, currently Ford’s President of the Americas, will become the maker’s new Chief Operating Officer, a position all but certain to ensure he eventually moves up upon Mulally’s retirement. But the 67-year-old CEO, clearly in no rush to leave, will pare back his day-to-day role but continue as Ford’s chief strategist and internal cheerleader.

“At least thru 2014. Whatever happens, Alan is here two more years. And we could go longer” Ford Chairman Bill Ford clarified when asked how long Mulally would stay. “Obviously, I love Alan. I’ve never enjoyed working with anyone so much (and) I’d like him to stay forever. But part of the manifestation of a great CEO is developing a great team.”

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So, from a day-to-day management perspective, the man in charge will now be 51-year-old Mark Fields, the Jersey Boy who many – including Mulally — credit with creating the “great elements” of a turnaround plan which helped Ford avoid bankruptcy, unlike its cross-town rivals General Motors and Chrysler.

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