Ford Anoints Mulally's Successor. Mark Fields Gets The Power

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
ford anoints mulally s successor mark fields gets the power

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.
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21 of 39 comments
  • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Nov 01, 2012

    From my experience at Ford, Mulally is a good CEO not necessarily because he has better ideas or proceses than other CEOs, but because he is a good leader and motivator. He promotes integritty, proactive leadership and focus. If he can mentor Fields into taking the lead in this regard, Fields will do fine. However, the person who had the most profound impact on me was Farley. He's very one the ball and has good perspective.

    • See 1 previous
    • John Rosevear John Rosevear on Nov 01, 2012

      Mulally refers to Farley as "our secret weapon." He is definitely held in very high regard.

  • Type57SC Type57SC on Nov 01, 2012

    Title made me think of him singing "you've got the touch" to himself in that smirky picture.

    • Freddy M Freddy M on Nov 01, 2012

      Fields shall stand, Mulally shall fall (retire)...

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Nov 01, 2012

    First the engagement of Bill Ford's daughter to a black man and now a Jew will be running Ford. Henry's spinning faster than a Model T crankshaft. Ain't America grand?

    • See 4 previous
    • BklynPete BklynPete on Nov 01, 2012

      @tresmonos I thought the same thing -- that Henry I must be reeling in his grave -- when it was obvious they were grooming a Jersey-raised Jewish boy to run his company.

  • 86SN2001 86SN2001 on Nov 01, 2012

    Big Al isn't leaving??? Great idea Ford. Keep the goof that took taxpayer dollars and in return gave us vehicles with some of the worst quality in the industry Must be the Way Forward.

    • See 8 previous
    • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Nov 03, 2012

      If you take the Touch stuff out of the "problems" list, they are doing pretty well, actually. A friend of mine with an Edge has finally got it figured out and it's been a great vehicle, so far. When he first got it, his wife and he were pretty frustrated.