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Ford Brings on Former Boeing Exec as President-CEO

Alan Mulally Leaves Airplane Maker After 37 Years

By Published on .

DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- In a surprise move, Ford Motor Co. today named an industry outsider -- Boeing Co. veteran Alan Mulally -- as its president-CEO and to its board of directors, effective immediately. He succeeds William Clay Ford Jr. in the CEO position. The automaker announced in a statement that Mr. Ford will become executive chairman, concentrating on strategic repositioning efforts.
Alan Mulally, who was president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, has been named president-CEO of Ford Motor Co.
Alan Mulally, who was president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, has been named president-CEO of Ford Motor Co. Credit: AP

'Not going anywhere'
"Let me assure: I'm not going anywhere," Mr. Ford in an e-mail to employees today. "As executive chairman, I intend to remain extremely active in the direction of this company."

Mr. Mulally, 61, had a 37-year tenure at Boeing and had been an exec VP and also president-CEO of its commercial-airplanes unit since 2001. Mr. Ford credited his new hire with turning around that unit. Mr. Ford also praised his "deep experience" in customer satisfaction, labor relations, manufacturing and supplier relations.

"Clearly, the challenges Boeing faced in recent years have many parallels to our own," the Ford scion wrote.

Mr. Ford has made some bold moves to try to right his corporate ship. He's shuffled top management in the past year, and in early August he hired Wall Street specialist Kenneth Leet, a Goldman Sachs veteran, as a strategic advisor. Also last month, Ford Motor said it would cut fourth-quarter production in North America by 21%, and last week the automaker announced it has started evaluating a potential sale of its prestigious but low-volume Aston Martin car arm.

Continuing losses
Ford's North American auto operations posted a pre-tax loss of $797 million in the second quarter vs. a pre-tax loss of $907 million a year ago. Globally, the corporation also improved its results, reporting a net loss of $123 million for the second quarter, compared to the $946 million it lost in the year-ago period.
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