Ford has announced that its CEO Alan Mulally will be retiring on July 1. The 68-year-old executive will hand over his responsibilities to the company’s long-standing Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mark Fields. The announcement has come six-months earlier than expected and Mulally said that he took the decision because he felt that his successor was ready to take on position.
The American manufacturer’s Executive Chairman Bill Ford said, “From the first day we discussed Ford's transformation eight years ago, Alan and I agreed that developing the next generation of leaders and ensuring an orderly CEO succession were among our highest priorities. Mark has transformed several of our operations around the world into much stronger businesses during his 25 years at Ford. Now, Mark is ready to lead our company into the future as CEO.'
Mulally had joined Ford from Boeing in 2006, where he was in charge of its key commercial aircraft business. Mulally is widely credited with helping Ford ride over the financial crisis and recession of 2009. He was responsible for mortgaging several of the company's key assets, giving it the necessary cash flow and preventing Ford from going bankrupt. Last year, Ford earned a profit of USD 7.2 billion under his leadership.
53-year-old Mark Fields was the president and CEO of Mazda before he joined Ford. He has been the COO since November 2012 and has been the top contender for this position for a while now. Fields said that he would not be making any management changes in the company and that his position of COO would not be filled.