Ford CEO Mulally To Head Boeing Or Microsoft Soon?

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
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ford ceo mulally to head boeing or microsoft soon

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 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.”

Photo credit: Ford

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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7 of 57 comments
  • CoffeeLover CoffeeLover on Oct 19, 2013

    Please, not Mark Fields. His biggest priority is himself. Mullaly is old school and puts the job first.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jz78817 Jz78817 on Oct 20, 2013

      @Ronnie Schreiber though it has happened before; Iacocca readily admits he screwed up by pushing for Bob Eaton to succeed him instead of Lutz. I often wonder how Chrysler would have turned out if Lutz ran the place. I'm pretty sure they would still have had to pursue a global tie-up to survive, but I think Lutz knows the Germans well enough that he wouldn't have been rooked by Jürgen Schrempp.

  • Chris724 Chris724 on Oct 20, 2013

    Boeing has been based in Chicago since 2001.

  • El scotto El scotto on Oct 20, 2013

    Who does the Ford family, and their class B stock, favor for the next CEO?

    • Jz78817 Jz78817 on Oct 20, 2013

      Only they know. Like I said above, people at that level of a company don't make any public statements that haven't been carefully vetted.

  • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Oct 21, 2013

    Mulally leaving would be a psychologiacal blow to Ford as everyone there has put significant faith in his leadership. From my time spent there, his leadership doesn't come with gimmickery, he just finds ways to keep people focused on a target, and gets them to work together as a team. The talent has always been there, it was about getting all that talent to work in one direction. Of course, good leadership is always easier said than done. Few can execute it as well as he.