By on July 17, 2014

Alan Mullaly

Once thought to be the possible next CEO of Microsoft after his time as CEO of Ford drew to a close, Alan Mulally has instead turned up in Mountain View, Calif. as Google’s newest board member.

Autoblog reports Mulally was appointed to the tech company’s board of directors July 9, and began serving on its audit committee Tuesday. CEO Larry Page was thrilled to have the former Ford CEO on board, citing Mulally’s “wealth of proven business and technology leadership experience.” Mulally himself had this to say:

I am honored to serve on the board of a global iconic company that is dedicated to enhancing our lives. I look forward to working together with the Google board and management team to continue to deliver their compelling vision.

Mulally’s presence will likely lend more street cred as far as Google’s foray into autonomous vehicles is concerned; it’s rumored Google hired Roush — known mostly for NASCAR and tuned Mustangs — to build 100 of Google’s autonomous prototypes for testing.

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14 Comments on “Former Ford CEO Mulally Joins Google’s Board Of Directors...”

  • avatar


    “Ultimately, it’s the cars that Mulally will be judged on.

    Mulally, in part, has staked his reputation on the 2010 Taurus sedan. When he became CEO, the Taurus name had been relegated to the museum of dead brands. Ford had so botched successors to America’s best-selling car of the 1980s that it had decided it was a lost cause. Mulally saw things differently. He believed the Taurus name had value and before long challenged his team to deliver a new car in 24 months using the existing platform but with a whole new look.

    The Taurus that will roll into showrooms this summer looks nothing like the old model, which Mulally compared to “a deflated football.” Sleek and chiseled like Ford’s European sedans, it already has wowed critics. The question is whether $35,000 for a fully loaded model will fly in a recession. After all, the previous incarnation sold for a discounted 16 grand.”

    Never mind.

    • 0 avatar

      Feh. The 2010 Taurus will barely be a footnote in the story of Mulally’s time at Ford.

      • 0 avatar

        Because it doesn’t fit the “success” meme.

        • 0 avatar

          No, that’s not the reason. But good luck trying to sell that idea to anyone who actually knows the business.

          • 0 avatar

            How’s that Fusion thing going for you?

            Your reports predicting #1 status shows how much you know about the business.

          • 0 avatar

            He brought stock from $1/share to $17/share and then it settled in a range just below that. I’d say that was successful. The Taurus is a great car but the market for a large sedan with an even larger center console is diminishing. That was the primary reason we ended up with an Accord over the Taurus (even though we ended up getting a smaller trunk).

            Now I have a new Fusion company car and I do like it better than the Accord.

          • 0 avatar


            Care to give a few line commentary over why you prefer the Fusion over the Accord?

          • 0 avatar

            Sure Dave, and then I’ve got to hit the road for the day.

            Just some basic thoughts…

            I like the Accord for its sure-footedness, airy cabin, settles in a nice cruise, and has nice tight steering (hydraulic). It is a very roomy car and has done well for almost 30k miles in 2 years we’ve had it. The auto shifts intelligently but there is no ability to override when running through the mountain highways. The K24 is a gem of an engine and just like my 92 Integra GS-R, I still get a kick out of the VTEC kick over. Only thing ice had to do, outside of regular maintenance, is getting the rotors resurfaced.

            Now, the Fusion has more of a “sport coupe” feel and I like that. It fits around you and the cloth seats not only look good but are comfortable on a recent haul from Boise to Portland. Also, with the base 2.5 I averaged 38.1 mpg. I rarely drive the speed limit in the Accord and the Accord has slightly more power but I think that economy beats it. The handling at low speeds is too light and without feel but on sweeping turns and on the mtn roads, the car holds it’s (higher) weight better. The 4 is decent sounding if you’re winding it out but has no character to it.

            Let’s see, I like the auto function on all 4 windows and it’s super quiet. Sync works better than Honda’s hands free system. The trunk is not as roomy or maybe it’s the trunk lid that is smaller. Even though it’s a rocker switch, it’s still nice to hold a gear when you want. It’s an impressive car by all means but the Accord continues to earn its sterling reputation.

          • 0 avatar

            Thornmark, I don’t recall ever predicting that the Fusion would out-sell the Camry or Accord in the U.S. Even with Flat Rock, I don’t think Ford has the production capacity to do it, and they certainly aren’t interested in crushing their margins to play a numbers game with Toyota.

          • 0 avatar

            The Taurus nameplate had been almost completely discredited when Mulally joined the company. The Taurus had been reduced to rental-car fodder by that point. That is why Ford wanted to replace the actual car with the Five Hundred, and have the Fusion assume the Taurus’s former position in the market.

            It’s a testament to Mulally’s leadership that there is a 2014 Taurus, and it is once again a credible nameplate, and Ford is preparing to bring out a new version.

          • 0 avatar

            Mulally did a stellar job overall, but he did make some notable errors.

            I would include the Taurus on that list of errors. He was about ten years behind the curve on that one; the segment is in decline, and what is left of it doesn’t have much interest in what the Taurus has to offer.

          • 0 avatar

            The segment is in decline, but I’ve read that Ford is working on a new Taurus.

            I’m guessing that with Chinese sales for the next version, the Police Interceptor, and platform sharing with the Explorer, it’s feasible for Ford to offer another generation of the Taurus in North America?

  • avatar

    I have no comment on the substance of the report, but I think I was right across the street when that photo was taken. (I interviewed Mulally a couple hours later, for some value of “interviewed” that really means “held a mic while he did his thing”. I’ll miss him, he was always great to interact with. He’s a very thoughtful and decent man.)

  • avatar

    I’m sure he’s a thoughtful and decent man. A smart one too. I’m certain that Mulally took a close look at what Steve Ballmer did to Microsoft over a 14-year period — not to mention Ford’s own dubious experiences with MS.

    Mulally dutifully let the string run out on the CEO speculation, had Fields squirm and the FMC board bug him a little, then politely told Redmond “no thanks.”

    Given how many layoffs Microsoft announced today, Mulally has proven again how ahead of the curve he is.

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