Ford CEO Alan Mulally to retire, be replaced by Mark Fields

Ford CEO Alan Mulally will step down July 1 and be replaced by Mark Fields, who currently serves as the automaker's COO, the company confirmed Thursday. Mulally became Ford CEO in 2006 and helped the company navigate the 2008 financial crisis. 

Rebecca Cook/Reuters/File
Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally pumps his fist (L) during a press conference where Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford (M) announced Ford COO Mark Fields (R) will replace Mulally as Ford Motor CEO as of July 1 in Dearborn, Mich. May 1, 2014

Ford has finally confirmed what was already widely expected; that Mark Fields will replace Alan Mulally as president and Ford CEO. Fields, who currently serves as COO, will take up the reins at the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] on July 1. Mulally, 68, is stepping down from the top role after leading the automaker since 2006, coming from outside the auto industry to help it successfully navigate 2008’s financial crisis as well as implement the One Ford strategy calling for fewer models and factories around the globe.

Fields, 53, has been with Ford for the past 25 years and was only named COO in December of 2012. Before that he served as chief of Ford’s American unit, turning it from record losses several years ago to record profits in each of the last four years.
“It is a true honor to lead this great company and this talented team into the future,” Fields said in a statement. “Under Alan’s leadership, we have seen the power of One Ford and what a culture of positive leadership and working together can accomplish.”

The transition in July is approximately six months earlier than previously anticipated, following Mulally’s recommendation to accelerate the timetable based on his perceived readiness of Ford’s leadership team. Mulally has not yet stated what his future plans are.

“It has been an honor to serve and contribute to creating a viable, profitably growing company for the good of everyone associated with the Ford Motor Company,” Mulally said in a statement. “Ford’s future is so bright, and Mark—supported by an experienced and dedicated senior leadership team—is absolutely the right leader to continue to deliver on our compelling vision.”

Bill Ford remains as executive chairman of the company.

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