By on February 21, 2018

[Image: Ford]

Raj Nair, the now-former executive vice president and president for North America, had a reputation as being one of the top “car guys” in Dearborn.

He may have had a different kind of reputation inside the halls of Ford HQ. That’s because Ford announced today that he’s leaving the company, effective immediately, following an “internal investigation into reports of inappropriate behavior.”

Ford’s investigation found that Nair behaved in a way “inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct.”

“We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration,” Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett said in a press release. “Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values.”

Nair was also quoted in the release: “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.”

Nair had been in the leadership role since the beginning of June 2017. Before that, he was both the company’s head of global product development and its chief technical officer. He had been with the company for roughly three decades.

Ford plans to name a replacement sometime “in the near future.”

CNBC reported that Ford stock is trading flat in after-hours trading, as of this writing.

Details are scarce, but in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations, a slew of high-profile corporate executives have been accused of inappropriate conduct at work, usually involving conduct that is considered sexual harassment. Ford has already come under fire due to accusations of ongoing sexual harassment at its Chicago Assembly plant. Whether what Nair is accused of is sexual in nature or not is not yet known.

This is a developing story and we will update as more information comes to light. We have reached out to Ford and a spokesman declined further comment.

UPDATE: The Detroit News is reporting an anonymous complaint led to the investigation.

[Image: Ford]

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66 Comments on “Raj Nair Out at Ford Over “Inappropriate Behavior” [UPDATED]...”


  • avatar
    Mullholland

    “UPDATE: The Detroit News is reporting an anonymous complaint led to the investigation.”
    Two words: Mark Fields.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Wish I knew what was going on with all of these resignations. I read an article about it the other day. Seems hundreds of people are resigning in the wake of #MeToo, including plenty of women. Something seem amiss.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      What’s amiss is how many people, nearly always but not always men, act like lecherous jerks in the workplace. I swear every single professional woman I know well enough to discuss the subject, across professions, parties, age groups, and private or public sector, has a story of icky gross behavior by (usually high-ranking) men. I know a few men who have them, too, and the perpetrators in their cases are of both genders.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        What has changed these days is that anyone, yes anyone, can make unsubstantiated claims against another person and ruin their career.

        In this case, it appears that Raj Nair got his due process because ““We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration,” Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett said in a press release.”

        But all too often the public, the press and/or social media condemns a person based solely on another person’s complaint.

        None of us know the facts behind Raj Nair’s downfall based on this article.

        Maybe he took that Baby Blue Ford GT out for a joy ride and got it dirty.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Social media often jumps to conclusions.

          Corporate HR departments rarely do. In my experience, it’s the other way around; they would really rather avoid confronting high-ranking executives and tend to either disbelieve or bury even well-supported accusations. When a big fish gets booted from a big corporation over this sort of thing, it’s pretty much guaranteed there’s something to it.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I’m sure that there is something behind the decision, but I doubt that we, the people, will ever know what it is.

            The headlines these days are full of complaints of impropriety, assault, whatever, but only now do we as a society take notice and attach significance to it.

            Maybe people have just gotten more stupid to get themselves in these predicaments. To me it seems more prudent to err on the side of caution.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            People aren’t any more or less stupid then they always have been. What’s changed is simple: the stupif stuff that these stupid people do is no longer accepted as “the way it is.”

            And, yes, I’m sure there are people out there who falsely accuse people for (fill in the blanks here). It’s going to happen. But that’s no reason to not focus more on this problem.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            FreedMike, you probably called it right like you always do.

            If this stuff is happening in the workplace, the trend will be towards segregated and hostile work environments where people resist and avoid having to interact.

            I was self-employed for more than 30 years prior to full-retirement but I kept my employees so busy that they didn’t have time to play grab-ass with each other.

            In today’s world I would most likely be accused of being a tyrant boss who micro-managed his employees’ time at work.

            And I expected women to work just as hard and as long as the men did. So that would be another complaint against me.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @highdesertcat:
            “The headlines these days are full of complaints of impropriety, assault, whatever, but only now do we as a society take notice and attach significance to it.”

            People tend to “put up and shut up” until a critical mass is reached. View it as a crack in a dam. Once a bit of water starts to leak, it quickly causes a massive broach.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Lou_BC,

            Kinda like in that movie “Force 10 From Navarone”?

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          We don’t know exactly what Ford’s investigation discovered, of course, we should not overlook the fact that Nair has publicly admitted to inappropriate behaviour. Obviously, there was fire here, not just smoke.

          My experience over many years as an executive in corporate North America was that companies are loath to go after senior people for this sort of thing. I don’t for a moment believe that Ford would have made a public announcement and fired the guy unless he was well and truly guilty.

        • 0 avatar
          raph

          Gah… did you just call the Gulf livery baby blue!!!!!!!!!

          On a more serious note, nothing substantially different from the regular GT but those are the most sought after Ford GTs for that production run. They generally trade for almost half a mill.

        • 0 avatar
          Malforus

          While I agree we don’t know the facts the press release implies there was fire to the smoke of complaints.

          I keep seeing the “UNPROVEN WITCHHUNT” angle trotted out but the only case of refuted claims is one where a prominent celebrity recently won a case.

          While I get that liars gonna lie I don’t know why in this case the “Prosecuted false abuser” angle keeps popping up.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @dal

        I’m not sure that behavioral misconduct is the real reason. The article I was reading talked about John Lasseter was fired because he like to hug people.

        If gratuitous hugging is grounds for termination, we have a problem. Maybe I’m reading too much into the situation, but it seems like something bigger must be going on behind the scenes. Maybe insider trading for lots of these guys or something. I dunno.

        • 0 avatar
          Malforus

          Look I get it sounds laughable but if someone is told not to hug someone and they keep doing it that person is still a problem.

          In fact think about it this way: Your boss tells you to stop doing X, you keep doing X. Than maybe there needs to be punative action.

          Just like the lazy bastards who keep shirking work or the person who never does their job right, you only get so many chances to screw up before you are out.

          Lasseter wasn’t criminally charged, why is everyone white knighting people who can’t follow direction?

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @Malforous

            None of these people are being criminally charged. In fact, it seems none of them are even subject to civil suits for their alleged misdeeds. Curious, don’t you think? Either the companies are paying off thousands of victims who are all staying quiet (unlike their Hollywood counterparts) or something else is going on.

            No one is white knighting. You need to pay closer attention and ask questions, rather than inserting a behavioral fiction to condemn curiosity.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s like that movie Disclosure!

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      They may be attempting to appear as a less juicy shakedown target, in an era where half literate ambulance chasers and petty hysterics vastly outpower those sufficiently competent to contribute to something as quaint as building a product of value.

      • 0 avatar
        tinbad

        “I’m sure that there is something behind the decision, but I doubt that we, the people, will ever know what it is.”

        And we won’t, because neither party involved will benefit from any more spills. As someone working in a senior position in a F50 corporation I can tell you that if an executive at this level and with his tenure is being booted by the company in such a fashion, it means he definitely effed something good. Even though we won’t know the details I can assure you this is definitely not a case of “anyone making unsubstantiated claims against another person to ruin their career”.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          tinbad, yeah, I’m sure it was bad but can it be worse than what happened to GE?

        • 0 avatar
          Sam Hell Jr

          @tinbad

          I was in HR for a decently large organization until recently and I concur.

          Insofar as there are basically three pieces of information here (the context of handling the dismissal publicly rather than as a shut the door have a seat “it’s time to go” conversation, the “safe workplace” comment, and the “times” – plural – wording of the forced confession)… I’ll hazard a few feral-donkey guesses.

          The guilty deed was probably something sophomoric. Not *necessarily* directly abusive but think good ol’ boy behavior like strippers in the office or loaning that GT out to a girlfriend. And it was a behavior or a practice, not simply an event – every comma of this thing was reviewed by half of Jones Day so the plural is almost certainly intended and meaningful.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    $10 says he only acted like a man.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I have no idea what that means.

    • 0 avatar
      LXbuilder

      Not all men act like douche bags, just too many of them.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        According to two of my grand daughters this modern world is full of heavy-breathing drooling lecherous grabby old perverts, on campus and in the workplace.

        But not all young women are sugar babies looking for a sugar daddy.

        • 0 avatar
          SaulTigh

          My 70 year old mother tells me that this was also the case 50 years ago, but that women were taught by their mothers how to handle such men and put them in their place. Also, no social media existed to blow up every single aspect of humanity into a massive controversy.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            My grand daughter at UTEP yells out “Don’t Touch Me!” real loud and that usually embarrasses the old lechers enough to leave her alone, especially when there are a lot of other people around.

            My other grand daughter while she was at NM State had some perv take camera upskirts shots up her dress. Cheerleader skirts.

            The second time that happened she turned around and kicked him squarely in the nuts. Dropped him to his knees, writhing in agony on the ground.

            The Campus cops came running, until they found out from bystanders why the guy was in the fetal position on the ground. Those stubby cheerleader shoes must really hurt.

            Now she works in a bank in Phoenix, and her lady Boss likes to take a restroom break whenever my grand daughter does. Hell, her lady boss knows she’s married to an F16 pilot stationed there!

            I don’t know what your mom was told to do by her mother but I think maybe these days girls and women who don’t want this attention are a lot more graphic in their responses.

            And that’s a good thing.

            But with my daughter, things were different. She was a slut puppy. My wife put her on the pill when she first started menstruating.

            The guys she brought home!

            Fortunately, all that’s behind us. She is in her forties now, divorced and getting her weekly beef injection from a married professor on Campus.

            Kinda like a best friend with benefits.

          • 0 avatar
            210delray

            That advice worked in social situations, but not so much in the workplace where a woman is subordinate to a male. In the past, her job was on the line for complaining.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I dunno, I act like a man all the time around women and no one’s ever accused me of anything inappropriate (well, I suppose my ex wife did, but she’s a raving nutcase).

      Of course, in my book, “act like a man” means “act like a gentleman.”

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        ^ This!

        And you can’t even be a gentleman, as “ma’am, you look nice today” will probably get you a few minutes with HR, if not an escort from your office and straight to the unemployment line!

        • 0 avatar
          Ubermensch

          Do you also compliment the men in your office on their appearance? I suspect not. Maybe it’s that women want to be treated as peers in the workplace and not eye candy? If you feel the need to compliment a female co-worker, make it about her job performance and not her appearance.

          Being a “gentleman” means demonstrating you can act professional at the workplace and do more than appreciate pretty face.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            This.

            And I’ve NEVER been accused by any woman of harassment or anything like that for something as simple as complimenting an outfit.

            I’m sure it happens, and I’m sure that when it does, the claim is dismissed. HR knows who the jokers who do this kind of stuff are.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Believe you me, I’ve been around a couple of folks at work that were genuine sickos in this regard! (Couldn’t beat the living he11 out of ‘me, unfortunately!)

            I simply meant that damn near anything is suspect under the wrong conditions.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      And was in a position making him, and Ford, a juicy target for useless ambulance chasers and/or teevee hysterics incapable of producing as much as a ham sandwich on their own.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    #Metoo witch hunt.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    More media driven groupthink. We’ve become a nation of emotionally arrested snowflakes. HR departments have taken a zero-tolerance approach to a problem that isn’t black and white. I’ve witnessed women acting inappropriately with men, sometimes for years, and then out of the blue accusing men of “harassment”. I’ve warned male coworkers in the past that if a woman ever decides that she’s got an ax to grind, you’re job is toast. Now it’s in overdrive, people look for reasons to be “outraged”. I blame it in on over zealous helicopter parents and college campuses that are little more than assisted living communities for arrested adolescents. I’m glad I’m retired, what a great experience the workplace must be; one misconstrued complement, wrong gender pronoun, or chance comment and you’re “guilty” and out of a job. It is a good tool for companies to weed out older workers though, corporations can’t be blamed for using it to bolster the bottom line and to get that younger, diverse workforce in place. The business of business is business.

  • avatar
    dejal1

    The more public facing in a company or just another replaceable cog employee you are have the best chance of being canned. Public facing, because you will be a constant distraction and a cog because I can get another one out of the box.

    A valued employee not known to the public might be able to be shipped out the companies “Siberia”. Their name isn’t going to be constantly in the news and their value is more than they make even with baggage.

    If the issue is based on a “#metoo” a way is found to placate that person. Maybe the employee learns their lesson, maybe they don’t, hopefully they do.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    Head down, Aziz Ansari made it through almost unscathed.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      Ansari’s case was more complex, and even many feminists called out on his accuser that “bad sex” is less than rape, and that women must make themselves responsible for learning to say no (NYTimes Op-Ed). It was not an unproblematic encounter, but the reaction was complex and interesting.

      • 0 avatar
        Malforus

        Ansari is absolutely not unscathed, he was pretty profoundly humbled in that “NO ONE WINS” dumpster fire.

        I totally agree it wasn’t rape but there was definitely lots of cringe and questionable decision making that is going to hang over his head.

        Don’t expect to see him in any goofball rom-coms and definitely no renewal on “Master of None”

        Anyone looking for a quirky brown guy is going to be looking at a plethora of other options who aren’t known for being involved in a series of bad decisions.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Yeah it was “bad sex” with an overblown reaction.

          I honestly think he’ll be back.

          I also honestly don’t think you can make it much past 30 years of age without having a few bad experiences and instances of poor judgement that you wouldn’t want as part of the public record.

          • 0 avatar
            Nick_515

            PrincipalDan, I have no problem with Ansari coming back. I don’t think skewering people does real good in fixing the messed up ways people get themselves into to get laid. I mean, people shouldn’t pull stuff like that and emerge unscathed. But the problem is the culture, and you can’t fix that one individual at a time.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    No one is safe. Everyone has dirt.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    She had something on this guy. A text or a picture. They aren’t taking him down any other way.

  • avatar
    oleladycarnut

    highdesertcat, your comment above just leaves me shaking my head. What in the world leads you to believe women don’t work just as hard and long as men do?

    “And I expected women to work just as hard and as long as the men did. So that would be another complaint against me.”

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      oleladycarnut, my personal experience during the thirty+ years I did construction work refurbishing old houses.

      The complaint came from the male workers of the crew who felt that the ladies, if there were some on that crew, were not keeping up with their demand for stucco, cement, tile, brick, grout, whatever. Or when vacuuming spaces prior to assembly or reconstruction, the ladies moved too slow and had not finished when the men were ready to install the prefab frames, or whatever.

      Equal work for equal pay cuts both ways.

      • 0 avatar
        oleladycarnut

        Well, highdesertcat, I guess you have your own personal experiences. My experiences are in the military and education and those experiences don’t mirror yours.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          oleladycarnut, I am retired enlisted military, two combat tours in Viet Nam, AC-47 crewmember, conventional munitions and unconventional munitions (B61), including a tour with the USAFE IG Team.

    • 0 avatar
      pbx

      And while these women were working “just as hard and long as men” were you paying them a similar wage/salary as the men?

      • 0 avatar
        Ryannosaurus

        This is why smart business owners only higher women. Same amount of work for less pay! I am amazed that any successful business highers men, it puts them in an noncompetitive situation.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Reminds me of an old joke about a construction foreman watching some workers transport 2x4s across a job site.

          Every guy (except ONE) is grabbing two 2x4s, throwing them up on his shoulder and walking away from the pile. This one guy is taking one board at a time.

          Finally the foreman walks over and asks the guy: “Why are you only taking ONE board while everyone else is taking TWO?”

          The guy thinks for a min and then responds: “Well I guess they’re just too lazy to make two trips.”

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        pbx, Of course.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    Keep it civil and not racist so I don’t have to delete more comment threads.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I wish it was easy as saying that companies need mandatory comprehensive training on appropriate conduct for every person in the workplace, but too often the higher-ups get handwaived past the training because their time is too precious to be spent on something so obvious.

    When I was in the Marine Corps, it was the generals who didn’t have to go through the annual rifle certification every year like the rest of us did. Once they earned their expert badge, they’d go years never being able to find four hours to lay in the grass and shoot.

    I’m reminded of Hillary’s email scandal too. Somehow every other federal employee who handles classified information finds time for annual recertification, but she never did.

  • avatar
    mshenzi

    This article is a great Rorschach test: here’s a tiny bit of carefully framed information, there’s a s**t-ton of missing specifics, what pile of preconceptions and pre-cooked scenarios/answers would you like to apply to it?

    It’s a natural for Airing of Grievances and Front Porching

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’m shocked at some of the misogyny of what I’m reading here.

    But I do agree that there are few people who are truly without sin and should be casting stones.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Maybe this is different, maybe its about the Focus RS motor? perhaps he told someone it doesn’t have a proper head gasket that works and admitting that failure is not ” deeply committed to providing and nurturing a respectful culture to the late Henry ” :D

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    Theses top executives love to use their power to get their rocks off! From Bill Crosby to Harvey Weinstein; it about doing “what I want if you want the job; do this for…” It a great feeling no pun intended…to wheel power over some other person like this!

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