Observers knew that something was in the bush when Ford scheduled a conference call for today 9 a.m. Eastern. Hosted by Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr., the call promised to be about more than October sales. It was about Ford’s future CEO.
As expected for months, Mark Fields, president of the Americas, was anointed as Mulally’s successor. Not officially, mind you.
First, it was announced that Mulally is not leaving. He will stay through at least 2014.
However, Mark Fields was named Ford’s new chief operating officer, effective Dec. 1.
Now it gets interesting: Fields will report to Mulally, as will the CFO, the general counsel and Ford’s chief of HR. That’s it.
Everybody else, all countries, skill teams, product development, manufacturing, marketing, everything will be reporting to Fields. Effectively, Ford gets a new boss on December 2012, his name is Mark Fields, and he occasionally will inform Mulally as the 67 year old alots more time to his tennis and golf game.
While they were at it, more changes were announced:
- Joe Hinrichs was named executive vice president and president of The Americas; Hinrichs is currently group vice president and president of Asia Pacific Africa
- Stephen Odell was named executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa; Odell is currently group vice president, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe; Africa is being realigned with Europe and the Middle East
- Jim Farley was named executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln.
- David Schoch was named group vice president and president of Asia Pacific.