The Truth About Cars » Executives http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 11 Sep 2014 23:24:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Executives http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Mark Fields To Replace Alan Mulally, As Ford CEO: We Wish Him Mazel Tov http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/mark-fields-to-replace-mulally/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/mark-fields-to-replace-mulally/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 04:01:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=806746 Two of the most reliable reporters on the automotive beat, Karl Henkel and David Shepardson of the Detroit News, have reported that their sources confirm that Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally will step down later this year and that Mark Fields, Ford’s chief operating officer, will be named to the CEO position. Earlier on […]

The post Mark Fields To Replace Alan Mulally, As Ford CEO: We Wish Him Mazel Tov appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Mark Fields, Ford Group VP Derrek Kuzak, Bill Ford Jr., Alan Mulally

Mark Fields, Ford Group VP Derrek Kuzak, Bill Ford Jr., Alan Mulally

Two of the most reliable reporters on the automotive beat, Karl Henkel and David Shepardson of the Detroit News, have reported that their sources confirm that Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally will step down later this year and that Mark Fields, Ford’s chief operating officer, will be named to the CEO position. Earlier on Monday, Bloomberg News reported that Ford “may announce the moves as soon as May 1.” Ford’s annual corporate meeting is scheduled for May 8 in Delaware, with the FoMoCo board of directors meeting the prior day. Mulally, 68, has been with Ford since 2006 and he’s generally credited with successfully guiding the automaker through the troubled waters that brought crosstown rivals General Motors and Chrysler to bankruptcy and a government bailout.

The move is seen by most as a formality and that Fields, 53, has been assured of replacing Mulally since he was promoted from President of the Americas to COO in late 2012. Mulally has previously said publicly that he plans to remain as Ford’s CEO through at least 2014. Other than a stint at IBM, Fields has been at Ford for most of his adult life, having joined the company 25 years ago.

A Ford Motor Company spokesperson declined to confirm or deny the reports.

So that’s the boilerplate news. In the background of the story, though…Ever since Fields started ascending the corporate ladder and was seen as a possible CEO at Ford, is the fact that Mark Fields is Jewish and the founder of the company, Henry Ford, was one of the 20th century’s most notorious anti-semites. If I was a betting man, I’d bet that 100% of the articles published in major news sources about the announcement, when it is made, will mention Fields’ religion and Henry Ford’s anti-semitism. Henkel and Shepardson’s DetNews piece certainly did.

That prejudice is a historical fact. In 1920, the Dearborn Independent, a newspaper controlled by Henry Ford, started publishing a series titled The International Jew, claiming that there was a worldwide conspiracy by Jews to control the world. Seven years later, under pressure from his son Edsel and other business associates, Henry would make a public apology, but the damage to Ford’s image was done. Growing up in and around Detroit, I can’t recall any of my friends’ parents driving Ford products before the 1970s. I’ve known Jews, the children of Holocaust survivors, who bought German cars before they would consider a Ford product.

dearborn-independent

To be fair, it should be said that Henry Ford was not an exterminationist Jew-hater, like Adolf Hitler was, though the two admired each other to some extent. Ford had good working relationships with Jews like architect Albert Kahn and he was friendly with his neighbor in Detroit’s Boston-Edison district, Rabbi Leo Franklin of Detroit’s biggest Reform Jewish temple, Beth El. In fact, Ford was perplexed when, following the publication of The International Jew, Franklin returned the Model T that Henry gifted to him, something Ford ecumenically did every year for all of the most prominent clergymen in Detroit. Henry, it seems, divided world Jewry into two groups, the “good Jews”, those whom he knew personally, and the conniving boogeymen of his imagination. Remember, Henry Ford was an uneducated farm boy who made good and he retained most of his beliefs, biases and prejudices all of his life.

Henry didn't like jazz. "Jewish Jazz - Moron Music" is what his newspaper called it. With one of his great grandchildren married to a Jew and another married to a black, Henry must be spinning faster than a Model T crankshaft.

Henry didn’t like jazz. “Jewish Jazz – Moron Music” is what his newspaper called it. With one of his great grandchildren married to a Jew and another married to an African-American, Henry must be spinning faster than a Model T crankshaft.

So it’s true that Henry was a crackpot and a Jew hater. However, Henry Ford has been dead since 1947 and his family has gone out of its way to right his wrongs. I’ve written before here at TTAC about how Henry Ford II cultivated close personal relationships with Jews and between Ford Motor Co. and the Jewish community, how the Deuce was personally generous to Jewish philanthropies (and FoMoCo did likewise at his lead), and how in 1973, at the height of the Yom Kippur War, Henry II personally arranged for Ford of Europe to ship trucks and trailers to Israel because they were needed to move tanks to the battle fronts.

Fields’ comments about not experiencing any discrimination at the Ford company ring true to what I have heard from personal friends who have worked there in the past few decades. Fields is also not the only high level Jewish executive at Ford Motor Company. Neil M. Schloss has been Vice President and Treasurer of Ford Motor Co. since 2007.

I see the appointment of a Jew to the CEO job at Ford as more of a non-issue than anything else. Yes, it’s worth noting because of the history involved, but 2014 is not 1920. It’s a different world, Ford Motor Company is a different company that it was under Henry and I’m sure that Bill Ford and his cousins (who collectively control Ford Motor Company) don’t care what Fields’ religion is as long as he does a good job running the company.In light of the fact that one of the Ford cousins is married to a Jew and has donated a Torah scroll to the temple they attend, my guess is that many in the family will be happy about Fields taking the job. A dark corner in their family history has been turned.

Let me be the first to wish a hearty Mazal Tov to Mark Fields, to his kvelling parents, to the Ford family and to Ford Motor Company.

* The term “anti-Semite” was coined by Wilhelm Marr, who was looking for a more polite term than “Jew-hater” to describe his opposition to Jewish political emancipation in 19th century Germany, so he pulled a word from linguistics, which references “Semitic” languages that include Hebrew, Ugaritic etc. Since Marr’s euphemism was intended to make him and his ilk look better and because some modern day Jew-haters have appropriated the term to fraudulently claim that Arabs are also victims of “anti-Semitism”, I prefer to call a spade a shovel.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

The post Mark Fields To Replace Alan Mulally, As Ford CEO: We Wish Him Mazel Tov appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/mark-fields-to-replace-mulally/feed/ 72
Ford CEO Mulally To Head Boeing Or Microsoft Soon? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/ford-ceo-mulally-to-head-boeing-or-microsoft-soon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/ford-ceo-mulally-to-head-boeing-or-microsoft-soon/#comments Sat, 19 Oct 2013 16:06:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=627322 The rumor mill has been grinding away as of late regarding the possible return of Ford CEO Alan Mulally to helm either one of two of Seattle’s many economic engines: Microsoft and Boeing. In the face of these rumors, Mulally has opted not to dispel the rampant speculation. Reuters was  among those in attendance at an […]

The post Ford CEO Mulally To Head Boeing Or Microsoft Soon? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
ford-ceo-alan-mulally-china-lincolnjpg-894a92e3f2c9121aThe rumor mill has been grinding away as of late regarding the possible return of Ford CEO Alan Mulally to helm either one of two of Seattle’s many economic engines: Microsoft and Boeing. In the face of these rumors, Mulally has opted not to dispel the rampant speculation.

Reuters was  among those in attendance at an automotive conference in Wuhan, China, where Mulally’s response to being asked whether he was directly or indirectly approached by either company to take the wheel was, “I love serving Ford.” He added that there were no changes to the plan laid out for Ford to find a successor to the third longest serving CEO when he steps down at the end of 2014, though Reuters did report that the auto maker may be open to an earlier departure should Mulally accept an offer elsewhere.

Since taking over Ford in 2006, Mulally helped steady the then-troubled company through his One Ford plan, which led to the sale of acquired brands — including Aston Martin and Volvo — to bring the focus back upon the Ford and Lincoln product lines. In turn, Mulally’s Ford was the only auto maker to avoid the pitfalls and bailouts experienced by Chrysler and General Motors during the Great Recession’s early days in late 2008.

With Microsoft’s market price still stagnant a decade on, and Boeing’s own woes with the 787 Dreamliner, either company could possibly benefit should the right offer approach his desk, especially if hand-delivered by his senior contacts in both companies to his home in Seattle.

Of course, when asked if he were open to a new executive post upon the end of his term at Ford, Mulally laughed and only had three words for the reporter: “I don’t know.”

The post Ford CEO Mulally To Head Boeing Or Microsoft Soon? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/ford-ceo-mulally-to-head-boeing-or-microsoft-soon/feed/ 57
Piech, Mulally Not Going Anywhere http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/piech-mulally-not-going-anywhere/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/piech-mulally-not-going-anywhere/#comments Fri, 06 Sep 2013 14:41:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=512009 The C-Suites of two major auto makers are unlikely to change in the near future, despite rumors suggesting that both Ferdinand Piech and Alan Mulally are set to depart both VW and Ford respectively. Mulally, who is reportedly being courted by both the Obama administration and Microsoft, told Bloomberg that “I plan to continue to serve […]

The post Piech, Mulally Not Going Anywhere appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Ferdinant_Piech_by_Stuart_Mentiply

The C-Suites of two major auto makers are unlikely to change in the near future, despite rumors suggesting that both Ferdinand Piech and Alan Mulally are set to depart both VW and Ford respectively.

Mulally, who is reportedly being courted by both the Obama administration and Microsoft, told Bloomberg that “I plan to continue to serve as Ford’s president and CEO until at least the end of 2014.” Sources have suggested that Ford’s board was open to him stepping down early so that he could explore other options.

Over at VW, rumors of Ferdinand Piech’s demise appear to have been greatly exaggerated. German outlet Der Spiegel claimed that Piech was about to step down due to poor health, with CEO Martin Winterkorn assuming the top job. True to character, Piech denied such reports, claiming “Those who are written off live longer.”

 

The post Piech, Mulally Not Going Anywhere appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/piech-mulally-not-going-anywhere/feed/ 21
GM’s Reshuffle Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/03/gms-reshuffle-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/03/gms-reshuffle-revealed/#comments Tue, 02 Mar 2010 19:26:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=347209 GM has announced its new North American organizational shuffle [full release available here], and have included the following slides to help explain some of the changes. The clear winner: President of NA operations, Mark Reuss, who had this to say: It’s become extremely clear to me since taking this role that there is a better […]

The post GM’s Reshuffle Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

GM has announced its new North American organizational shuffle [full release available here], and have included the following slides to help explain some of the changes. The clear winner: President of NA operations, Mark Reuss, who had this to say:

It’s become extremely clear to me since taking this role that there is a better way to structure this organization. The premise of the structure is simple — a clearer marketing focus to sell more vehicles, and freeing our sales and service experts to focus on customers and dealers. In order to be successful in North America, we need the right mix of product, people and structure. We’ve worked with a small group of executives to align this model and appoint the best candidates for each job.

Notice how he doesn’t call the new structure a simplification. As the following slides show, there’s nothing simple about the structure changes. In fact, the only thing that’s certain about this latest GM reshuffle is that wrestling with GM’s bureaucracy still takes up as much time for top managers as actually working on products, planning, outreach and other core business activities.

The post GM’s Reshuffle Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/03/gms-reshuffle-revealed/feed/ 21
GM Shakeups Continue: Nesbitt Ousted At Cadillac, Lutz “Actively Considering” Retirement http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/03/gm-shakeups-continue-nesbitt-ousted-at-cadillac-lutz-actively-considering-retirement/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/03/gm-shakeups-continue-nesbitt-ousted-at-cadillac-lutz-actively-considering-retirement/#comments Tue, 02 Mar 2010 16:02:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=347173 Motor Trend reports that former PT Cruiser stylist Brian Nesbitt has been relieved of his duties as the head of Cadillac, ending GM’s post-bankruptcy experiment of putting a stylist in charge of an entire division. But MT figures that Nesbitt’s ouster isn’t as simple as a failure to perform; according to their sources, the firing […]

The post GM Shakeups Continue: Nesbitt Ousted At Cadillac, Lutz “Actively Considering” Retirement appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

Motor Trend reports that former PT Cruiser stylist Brian Nesbitt has been relieved of his duties as the head of Cadillac, ending GM’s post-bankruptcy experiment of putting a stylist in charge of an entire division. But MT figures that Nesbitt’s ouster isn’t as simple as a failure to perform; according to their sources, the firing was political.

The shakeup has major implications for Bob Lutz’s future at GM. He hired Nesbitt away from Chrysler earlier last decade and made sure there was a place for the PT Cruiser designer at post-bankruptcy GM. Nesbitt’s departure would indicate Lutz’s role as one of three GM vice chairmen has diminished to almost nothing… Clearly, [recently-promoted sales boss and President of North American ops Mark Reuss] is putting his own team together, and it doesn’t include Nesbitt, who was posed as the aesthetic face of the Cadillac luxury division.

Reuters spoke with Maximum Bob in Geneva, and asked him about the “R-word.” Lutz replied:
The reason I am giving it active consideration this time is because I honestly feel I can look back with satisfaction and say the team I was privileged to lead in product development has actually achieved more than what I would have hoped for
That, or his word is no longer regarded with awestruck reverence around the RenCen, and the Man of Maximum is finding himself on the outside looking in. More evidence for this can be found in the apparent decision to put the Volt-based Cadillac Converj (which Lutz has actively championed) into development hell. According to Lutz:

As we took a look at our available capital and engineering resources, we decided that therer were things that were more urgent than doing a Cadillac version of the Voltec architecture. We had originally had a time slot for the Converj and that has been put on hold

Does something about Lutz’s use of the first-person plural seem a bit odd? It’s one easy way to conceal the fact that MaxBob and Ed “Rattler” Whitacre are at odds on a number of fronts. Would Mr Lutz like to comment on this rift?

Ed Whitacre is not interested in organizational stability, Ed Whitacre is interested in results. If it takes a certain amount of upheaval to get the right people in the positions than that is what he is going to do.

If that doesn’t suggest that Lutz is on his way out, what would? It looks like Docherty, Nesbitt and Lutz are on the decline, while Reuss and Steve Girsky are exercising ever more control as Ed Whitacre’s hatchet men. GM will be making an announcement about its latest shakeup sometime this week, and we’ll update you with the latest on this palace intrigue as it plays out.

The post GM Shakeups Continue: Nesbitt Ousted At Cadillac, Lutz “Actively Considering” Retirement appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/03/gm-shakeups-continue-nesbitt-ousted-at-cadillac-lutz-actively-considering-retirement/feed/ 23