By on February 22, 2018

Image: Ford

Yesterday’s shocking ouster of Raj Nair as president of Ford North America, which came after an internal investigation into “inappropriate behavior,” left a leadership vacuum at the highest levels of the company’s food chain. On Thursday morning, the automaker announced a successor: Kumar Galhotra, soon-to-be former Lincoln Motor Company boss and Ford chief marketing officer.

Galhotra, 52, has overseen Lincoln since 2014, but his new role will see him pulling all the levers of Ford’s North American business.

With 29 years of Ford experience under his belt, Galhotra officially takes on the new job March 1st. Like Nair, he’ll report to Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of global markets.

“Kumar is an incredibly talented executive with a special feel for product and brand. He is also a seasoned leader who knows how to drive a business transformation,” Farley said in a statement. “Kumar is the right person to lead our North American business to new levels of operational fitness, product and brand excellence, and profitability.”

Serving as Galhotra’s deputy is Stuart Rowley, 50, named vice president and chief operating officer of Ford North America effective March 1st. Rowley previously served as Ford’s VP of strategy. Taking over as Lincoln head and Ford chief strategy officer is Joy Falotico, 50, who served as Ford Motor Credit Company’s president and CEO since 2016. Though she’ll remain chairman of Ford’s financial wing, job one will be the overseeing of the Lincoln brand on a global scale.

Stepping into Falotico’s previous position is David McClelland, former VP of Asia Pacific marketing. John Lawler, former head of Ford China, takes over from Rowley as VP of strategy.

Missing from Ford’s Thursday announcement is any further information on what led to Nair’s departure.

In an earlier statement released by the automaker, Nair said, “I sincerely regret that there have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviors consistent with the principles that the company and I have always espoused. I continue to have the utmost faith in the people of Ford Motor Company and wish them continued success in the future.”

The investigation into Nair’s behavior came after an anonymous complaint to the company. Yesterday, CEO Jim Hackett said the decision to let Nair go followed a “thorough review and careful consideration.” The ousted executive held the position of Ford North America president for less than nine months.

Before his short-lived tenure at the top, Nair guided the development of the new F-Series line and Expedition, among other models, as the company’s global product boss.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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39 Comments on “After Nair’s Sudden Exit, Lincoln’s Galhotra Climbs the Corporate Ladder...”


  • avatar
    NoID

    “Kumar is an incredibly talented executive with a special feel for product and brand. He is also a seasoned leader who knows how to drive a business transformation,” Farley said in a statement. “Kumar is the right person to lead our North American business to new levels of operational fitness, product and brand excellence, and profitability.”

    Farley later added, “Kumar’s a real people person with an excellent track record of achieving cohesion among his reports, without the slightest evidence of diddling his secretary or scheduling one on one meetings with his top female engineers to hash out acceptable friction coefficients between mating components.”

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Let’s hope Kumar can keep it in his pants.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    “Hello, steady customer, will you be having lottery tickets and beef jerky today?” Oh, that’s Apu, not Kumar. My bad.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I hate to see Nair go, but given what Kumar has done for Lincoln (going back to names, as well as the well-done Continental, Navigator and Nautalis), I hope he can keep Ford on the right track.

    Who wants to bet the next Conti is RWD? I see no reason why it wouldn’t be.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      I’d like to see a retro Mark IV, preferably similar to the ‘72 I owned. The only Ford car I’ve ever had in 40 years of driving, I loved that gas guzzling 460 c.i., 223 net hp motor and that soft suspension, ahhh. I did have two Broncos, but they certainly weren’t cars, you didn’t have to lock the hubs on cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      There will be no RWD Conti or Mark series vehicle unless something drastically changes.

      I’d be surprised if Lincoln had any sedans by 2022.

  • avatar
    Tiberius1701

    Ford needs to get Alan Mullaly back yesterday. (Wishful thinking.) There are far too many excursions away from Ford’s core business-not quite in the same way as the Nasser-led ‘Let’s buy everything in sight’ sojourn of the late 90’s/early 21st Century. It took Alan’s stewardship to bring the Company around to a proper course. All the recent plans for mobility, etc. are causing damage to the brand.

    • 0 avatar
      Omnifan

      Mullaly may have changed the course of the company, but he obviously did NOT change the culture. If he had, stuff like this wouldn’t have happened. Culture takes many years to change, not overnight or even in two or three years. Ford’s inbred culture ran deep and we’re still seeing vestiges of it.

    • 0 avatar
      JimBot

      I couldn’t agree with this more. Mullaly was the best head of Ford in decades – clear vision, and actual execution of a plan. Granted, that idiot Nasser’s acquisitions proved to be the payout Mullaly needed to keep from getting a Fed bailout, but his plans would have been the same.

      This idea of Ford being a “Mobility Company” is pure nonsense.. Ford, you are a f*cking car company and that’s all you’ll ever be. Why not just try and be the VERY BEST at that?

      Regarding the culture comment – I agree with that too, although I don’t think he was there long enough to change it. It takes decades to change the culture from the top all the way down in a company like any of the Big 3. Many of those executives are stuck in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s – and they have to retire or get fired for things to change, and the people THEY brought up have to also get fired.. bad culture is cancer in a company, the only solution is CUT OUT (fire) those who are not on board. If you don’t get everyone, the cancer comes back and grows rapidly, which is what is happening here.. the lower ranks are coming up and making Ford a “Mobility Company.”

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        “Ford, you are a f*cking car company and that’s all you’ll ever be.”

        This thinking is what caused railroads to suffer so badly in the post-WWII era, thinking that they were in the railroad business, not the transportation business. While not every move towards “Mobility” is well advised, sticking with the idea that they’re only a “Car Company” is a sure way to get left behind.

  • avatar
    azmtns

    Harold: We gotta go to White Castle.
    Kumar: Yes! Yes! I knew you had it in you, dude!

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    So glad I turned down a job offer from Ford upon graduating from UM with multiple engineering degrees. I left for the west coast. Clearly, if you are a white male, you have no future at Ford. Most top posts are going to minorities and/or females. What a joke that company has become. Toyota promotes talent. Ford promotes diversity. Now you know why Toyota products are superior to Ford products.

    • 0 avatar
      dejal1

      Old Henry is probably spinning in this grave.

      I’ve got no issues with ANYBODY getting the gig if they are the best qualified. But, I don’t blame you for taking care of you. Kind of stupid to take one for the team, the reason being “because”.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “Clearly, if you are a white male, you have no future at Ford.”

      So much so that only three of the five executives promoted today were white males.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Here is some salt for that open white wound:

        “New projections by the U.S. Census Bureau predict non-Hispanic white people will be a minority by 2043 due mostly to the doubling of the Hispanic and Asian populations.”

        “Another 20 per cent of the population will be native-born, but with at least one immigrant parent. Since the vast majority of immigrants come from Asian or Pacific nations, within 20 years Canada will likely be as brown as it is white. ”

        Being a Labrador retriever, I’m fine with that. Black, brown and yellow are all siblings to me ;)

        • 0 avatar
          Sub-600

          This can’t be good for ice hockey.

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            Devante Smith-Pelly disagrees.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “This can’t be good for ice hockey.”

            why?

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            Because Canada will be assimilated and soccer, excuse me, futbol will replace ice hockey, lacrosse, and cow tipping. Resistance is futile.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Sub-600 – Assimilated? Too many late night reruns of Star Trek.

            Soccer is already one of the fastest growing sports in Canada and when my kids were involved, it wasn’t a sea of brown.

            Canadian born hockey players currently make up 50% of National Hockey League players. So what’s your point?

            Culture is never a static thing.

            Everyone in Canada at one time or another was an immigrant. You can even play the “Bering Strait” card in relation to aboriginals.

            Again, what is your point?

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          So how are they going to count my kids?

          Momma is a registered member of the Navajo Tribe (but our kid’s blood percentages will be too low to qualify) majority of her blood is Latina, and there’s 1/8 Japanese just to throw other things into the mix. Dad’s just a guy of German Swiss ancestry.

          There are a few political scientists who have predicted that when “whites” reach minority status in the USA we’ll simply start counting Hispanics as part of us. Hispanic seems to be the only European ancestry group that gets it’s own special designation.

          • 0 avatar
            Tele Vision

            To paraphrase Russell Peters, “We’ll ALL be beige soon!”

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @PrincipalDan – I do find it amusing when ever I read an article involving Americans when they use the term “non-Hispanic white”.
            Spanish aka Hispanic, French, Italian among others are all viewed as “romance”(Roman) languages which are derivatives of Latin.

            White isn’t a race and neither is Caucasian-European. Caucasians are also Arabic and Indian.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            And race is an artificial creation based on the bad old days of phrenology etc…

            Some day we’ll bury it as a concept.

          • 0 avatar
            ClutchCarGo

            “Some day we’ll bury it as a concept.”

            Or it will bury us.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      Jimmyy

      It’s not just Ford. Have you looked at GM? Maybe 10% of Hard science BS holders are Female on Plant floor staff or the Tech Center. (…with 20 years of experience. Recent entrants have skewed the numbers.)

      Yet much – more than 10% are department head level or higher are female. (jobs that take 10-20 years experience to get.)
      Reverse discrimination. Plain and simple.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @redapple – statistics show that 20% of GM’s executives are women. Statistics also show that 20% of engineers at GM are female.

        http://www.detroitnews.com/story/…/general-motors/…/gm…women-engineers…/86317396/
        Jun 23, 2016 – About 20 percent of GM’s engineers are female, a bit higher than the 18.6 percent graduating with engineering degrees and 12 percent of the workforce

        So much for your theory that female executives outweigh female engineers.

    • 0 avatar
      Hydromatic

      “Toyota promotes talent. Ford promotes diversity. Now you know why Toyota products are superior to Ford products.”

      The implication being that diversity promotes inferior products (and inferior nations to boot) whereas a nice homogeneous monoculture offers superior products (and a superior nation).

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        If you are a minority women and you apply to MIT with average high school performance and above average SAT scores, you are in.

        But, if you are a white male with a 4.0 in high school with near perfect SAT score, most likely, you will not get into MIT. So, you go to a state college.

        Fast forward a few years, and the less than smart “MIT” minority women is getting all the promotions in the name of a diverse workforce while the super smart white male is stuck doing CAD/CAM stuff. That is how you ruin a company and a nation that has a hard on for diversity.

        What should happen is only the most talented should be promoted and if you get a diverse workforce, great. And, if you don’t, great. However, any company who says diversity is a goal should be avoided by any white make who dreams of a career.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @jimmyy – I do believe that the most qualified candidate should get the job.

          With that being said, how does one counter traditional role stereotyping along sexual and/or racial lines?

  • avatar

    White executive sold out and destroyed Chrysler and bankrupted GM. Kumar did much better job with Lincoln than hordes of white executive before him. And who revived Mustang BTW?

  • avatar
    redapple

    LOU

    % of THOSE WITH 20 years is key.

    I clearly said that in my statement.

    It takes that long to get to exec level.

    % females that are engineers with 20 years is
    MUCH lower than 20%.

    Got it? You see, I actually worked at the TECH CTR 20 years ago.

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