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Ousted Ford CEO Mark Fields May Get Nearly $60m Parting Gift

Payout likely to dwarf initial paycheck for new CEO Jim Hackett.

by on May.26, 2017

Former Ford CEO Mark Fields.

He may have lost one of the top spots in the auto industry, but Mark Fields won’t go away empty-handed.

Ousted Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields will receive a parting gift of as much as $57.5 million, according to a report by the Bloomberg news service, including pay, stock awards, retirement benefits and bonuses. That figure is expected to dwarf what his successor, Jim Hackett will make, at least during his first year at the helm of the second-largest U.S. automaker.

Officially, Fields resigned last Friday, though it was made clear to him that Ford Chairman – and the grandson of founder Henry Ford – Bill Ford Jr. was intent on replacing the 56-year-old company veteran with the 62-year-old Hackett, a former chief executive at Steelcase, the Michigan-based office furniture manufacturer.

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Elevated to CEO in July 2014, Fields saw Ford’s profits hit an all-time record last year. But the maker’s sales and market share have been sliding, and earnings tumbled 38% during the first quarter of 2017, to $1.6 billion. What may have sealed his fate was the sharp decline in the carmaker’s stock price. It dropped 40% since Fields replaced his mentor Alan Mulally nearly three years ago.

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Ford Continues Management Shake-Up

New CEO names his own top team.

by on May.25, 2017

Raj Nair will shift from running product development to serve as head of Ford's North American operations.

Just days after Ford Motor Co. announced a new chief executive officer, incoming CEO Jim Hackett has revealed a sweeping realignment of his top management team, shuffling over a dozen senior executives into new position, ousting others, and even rehiring one Ford veteran who had quit to take a job heading Uber’s autonomous vehicles program.

Separately, Ford said that Hackett, the former head of furniture maker Steelcase, is now eligible for at least $13.4 million in compensation this year. That includes $1.8 million in salary, $7 million in stock-based compensation and various bonuses.

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“The leadership changes we are announcing today across our global business are important as we foster even greater teamwork, accountability and nimble decision-making,” the 62-year-old Hackett said in a statement released Thursday.

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Detroit’s Big Three Struggle to Adapt to Rapidly Changing Global Auto Market

Management shake-up at Ford not likely to be the last big announcement from the Motor City this year.

by on May.22, 2017

Ford CEO Fields won't be the last Detroit exec trying to figure out how to address changes coming.

The unexpected ouster of Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields comes as one of the biggest shake-ups Detroit’s Big Three have experienced since they emerged from the Great Recession – and it highlights the challenges they face trying to adapt to a global transformation in what automakers build and how they market those products.

The appointment of Jim Hackett to replace Fields is, however, just the latest in a series of big announcements from Detroit that last week saw Ford announce plans to cut 1,400 salaried workers in North America and Europe, while General Motors said it would stop selling cars in the huge Indian market and sell off operations in South Africa.

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“As the (Detroit) Big Three look out at the landscape, they see dramatic changes coming in the concept of mobility,” says Joe Phillippi, a veteran Wall Street auto analyst and now the lead at AutoTrends Consulting. “They are desperately trying to figure out the future business model and how they will fit in.”

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Ford Shaking Up Almost Entire Senior Management Team

Changes meant to "unleash innovation" and address "underperforming parts of the business."

by on May.22, 2017

Prior to joining Ford, Jim Hackett was Steelcase CEO and served as Interim U-Michigan Athletic Director.

Scrambling to turn around declining sales and earnings and to address broad shareholder concerns, Ford Motor Co. says it will replace CEO Mark Fields while reassigning a number of other senior managers.

The decision to oust the 56-year-old Fields, architect of a broad push into new mobility services, and replace him with former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett comes just a week after Ford announced plans to eliminate 1,400 salaried jobs in North America and Asia, part of a broader $3 billion cost cutting program.

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Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. downplayed any sense of management turmoil in a statement confirming the news reports that had begun to appear late Sunday night, declaring, “We’re moving from a position of strength to transform Ford for the future.” (more…)

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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Mulally to Retire, Fields Named New Ford CEO

New Chief Executive to face numerous challenges.

by on Apr.21, 2014

Mark Fields, who reportedly will become Ford CEO at the end of the year, shown delivering the keynote address at the NY Auto Show last week.

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally will step down at the end of the year, according to a variety of news reports and company sources, with the maker’s current Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields to step in as his successor.

The move – which Ford declined to comment upon – is no surprise to those familiar with the automaker’s plans which were largely laid out in late 2012 when the 52-year-old Fields was appointed to the COO position, a senior company insider at the time saying the top spot was “Mark’s to lose.”

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“This is no surprise whatsoever,” said George Peterson, a former Ford analyst and now head of the consulting firm, AutoPacific, Inc. “Ford has been pretty straightforward about doing what they said they would do.”

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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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Ford Reportedly Set to Name Mullaly’s Successor

Board to promote Fields to COO, according to report.

by on Sep.12, 2012

Ford Pres. Mark Fields during an appearance at the newly renamed Flat Rock Assembly Plant on Monday.

Mark Fields, currently Ford Motor Co.’s President of the Americas, may take a giant step closer to becoming the maker’s next chief executive this week.

The automaker’s board of directors is expected to name the 51-year-old Fields to the new post of Chief Operating Officer, the final step before the New Jersey-born executive could replace highly-regarded CEO Alan Mulally.

Such a move has been widely anticipated, though the timing was unclear. Ford normally does not comment on the timing of board meetings nor the actions on the agenda though a promotion at such a senior level would have to immediately be reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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A former top Boeing executive, Mulally has been widely credited with turning things around for Ford which, just prior to the recent recession, mortgaged all its key assets, including plants and the “Blue Oval” logo, to raise enough cash to avoid a collapse. The strategy worked, Ford being the only one of the three Detroit automakers to avoid a bankruptcy and federal bailout.

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Kuzak, Booth Stepping Down at Ford but Mulally Says “No Plans to Retire.”

Shake-up to have no impact on One Ford strategy.

by on Feb.09, 2012

Ford's Derrick Kuzak oversaw the unusual step of announcing a joint venture with Toyota -- whose Takeshi Uchiyamada is shown here.

Two of the most senior and respected members of the Ford Motor Co. management team will retire, the maker announced this morning, but CEO Alan Mulally stressed that he himself has “no plans to retire,” and insisted the executive shake-up will have no measurable impact on the way the Detroit maker operates.

Nonetheless, the 65-year-old Mulally made it clear that he is quietly grooming the next generation of Ford managers, including the executive who will eventually succeed him.

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This morning’s announcements involve a number of senior members of Ford’s management – but also sees a new name join the group, the company’s Board of Directors electing former Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman to their ranks.

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