Ford's North American President Leaves Over 'Inappropriate Behavior'

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Raj Nair – Former Executive Vice President and President, North America
Raj Nair – Former Executive Vice President and President, North America Credit: Ford Motor Company

Raj Nair, president of Ford Motor Co. in North America, has left the automaker after complaints of "inappropriate behavior," Ford said Wednesday.

Ford, in a statement, said an internal investigation found that "certain behavior by Nair was inconsistent with the company's code of conduct." It did not divulge the nature of Nair's behavior.

CEO Jim Hackett said Ford "made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration. Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values."

The move is effective immediately.

In the statement, Nair, 53, 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."

Reached by phone at his home earlier Wednesday afternoon, Nair declined to comment to Automotive News when asked about his employment status with Ford. Before his latest position, Nair was Ford's head of product development and chief technical officer. He oversaw the launch of the 2016 GT supercar, aluminum-bodied F-150 and 50th-anniversary Mustang, among a plethora of other vehicles.

Nair's tenure as product boss wasn't without controversy. The automaker twice had to lower mileage claims for its C-Max crossover and reimburse owners when the vehicle didn't achieve the rating originally advertised.

Nair started at Ford in 1987 as a body and assembly operations launch engineer and held various positions on more than 11 vehicle programs in 13 assembly plants, according to Ford's media website. He also worked on assignments in Europe, South America and Asia Pacific. Days before Jim Hackett was named CEO, Ford last year awarded Nair a $5 million retention bonus that would vest in May of 2020.

Michael Martinez is a reporter for Automotive News

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