F-Bomb Flies From Ford's Fields

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
f bomb flies from ford s fields

An Automotive News story today reported on an incredible – dare I say, game changing – method of corporate governance over at Ford; swearing at, and attempting to physically attack your co-workers!

According to a new book titled American Icon, which details Ford’s turnaround since 2006, CFO Don Leclair insisted that the advertising budget for Ford’s “Bold Moves” ad campaign be cut further. AN outlines the exchange below

“When you run the f–king business, you can do it,” Fields responded to Leclair, Hoffman wrote. “But you don’t run it. You’re the CFO. So, I’ll take your counsel, but that’s it.”

Leclair then shouted, “You’re going to do this,” Hoffman wrote, adding: Fields leapt out of his chair screaming, “I’m tired of this bulls—!”

Fields was “halfway across the table” when Bill Ford, then the automaker’s CEO, grabbed him, according to Hoffman. “Cut it out,” Ford said, according to Hoffman’s book

A look at Ford’s org chart shows that Fields and Leclair are on the same level, which makes Fields’ statement regarding running “the f—king business” all the more puzzling. Leclair, as CFO, would probably be a greater asset to Ford than a fungible marketing wonk like Fields, and if this were a conventional work place, Fields probably would have been fired for this kind of behavior. Leclair apparently blocked other moronic marketing department schemes like offering carbon offsets along with the purchase of a Ford vehicle because they were deemed to be the 21st century secular liberl version of buying indulgences from the Church too expensive.

It’s worth noting that at the same time, Fields was criticized for using the company jet to fly home to Florida, at a cost of $18,000 each week at the same time that the Leclair incident, and the shedding of tens of thousands of hourly workers was occurring.

For a breathless rimjob of Fields dubious actions an alternate view on the events, and Fields suitability as Ford’s future CEO, check out Jalopnik’s own piece on the matter.

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8 of 39 comments
  • Jimmyy Jimmyy on Mar 03, 2012

    Back in the 90s, when I graduated from UM Ann Arbor with an engineering degree and an MBA, Ford offered me a job. I turned it down and headed for wall street. Many I went to college with took the Ford offer, and have been miserable ever since. As far as I can tell, they never cracked the 200K mark. At this point, they are in their late 30s, and no one wants to hire an auto engineer. They just hope they make it to retirement. Best decision of my life.

    • See 4 previous
    • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Mar 15, 2012

      @SCE to AUX Actually, ford did try this up or out strategy, ranking employees as A, B, or C, only problem was the program seemed to be throwing out mostly older people even though they tried to balance this, and the whole experiment resulted in a nervous and demoralized staff as well as a number of lawsuits. In the end, Jac Nasser was forced to give up this lousy idea.

  • Obruni Obruni on Mar 03, 2012

    topping out at $200k in NYC or SF Bay could be frustrating depending on your tastes. topping out at $200k in the Detroit Metro area sounds pretty good to me, however. and there are plenty of Europeans, including bankers, that would kill for €200k a year.

  • Analoggrotto Too bad they don't sell Kia Telluride, the greatest selling vehicle in it's class over the pond in the UK who burned Washington DC down but that's ok.
  • Zerofoo There's a joke here somewhere about Tim's used car recommendations, Tassos, and death traps.
  • Tassos Subaru really knows how to take fugly to ever higher levels, and sell every one of the (of course very few) it makes. As if the number of sales negates the fugliness.Don't hold your breath. I bet this will NOT be the vehicle James Bond arrives at the Casino in Monte Carlo with in his next flick. (if any)
  • ToolGuy Government overreach. Park the Ford in your air-conditioned garage on a maintenance charger and this won't be a problem.Here's some (old) general background if you are interested.@ILO, there are 3 Fords, and Ford Pro™ is the one with the bright future 🙂
  • ToolGuy No harm no foul (no one died), business is business, yada yada. Why must everyone pick on dealers?-this post dedicated to Ruggles