Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford said today that Alan Mulally, 66, plans to continue to serve as Ford president and CEO through at least 2014 beyond the company’s normal retirement age. Mark Fields was named the company’s chief operating officer effective 1 December.
The announcement has industry observers debating whether Fields is ultimately talented enough to lead the U.S.’s second largest automaker. Fields will continue to report to Mulally, as will the company’s chief financial officer, general counsel and group vice president of Human Resources and Corporate Services.
Ford’s automotive business units – The Americas (including both North America and South America); Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia Pacific – will report to Fields. Also reporting to Fields will be Product Development; Manufacturing and Labor Affairs; Purchasing; Quality; Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering; Information Technology; Government and Community Relations; Marketing, Sales and Service; and Communications.
The company also made several other announcements, also effective 1 December including:
- Joe Hinrichs is named executive vice president and president of The Americas; Hinrichs is currently group vice president and president of Asia Pacific Africa
- Stephen Odell is named executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa; Odell is currently group vice president, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe; Africa is being realigned with Europe and the Middle East under Odell to take advantage of profitable growth opportunities and efficiencies
- Jim Farley is named executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln; Farley, who is currently a group vice president, adds operating responsibility as the senior global leader for Lincoln, working together with the company’s business units and functions on the re-invention of Lincoln as an excellent, global luxury brand
- David Schoch is named group vice president and president of Asia Pacific; Schoch is currently chairman and CEO, Ford of China
- John Lawler is elected a Ford Motor Company vice president and named chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China; Lawler is currently CFO, Ford Asia Pacific Africa
“We are fortunate to have Alan’s continued leadership as well as talented senior leaders throughout our company who are developing and working together and delivering on our plan,” said Bill Ford.
For the past seven years as executive vice president and president of The Americas, Fields has been responsible for the company’s North American operations.
Hinrichs has led Ford’s Asia Pacific growth plan for the past three years, overseeing the current construction of nine new plants. He now will concentrate on Ford’s Americas operations, focusing on continuing the momentum in North America and building a stronger business in South America where Ford is badly lagging.
Odell has his hands full at loss making Ford Europe, after stints at Mazda and Volvo. Odell will also concentrate on growth in Africa and the Middle East.
Farley will continue to lead Ford’s global Marketing, Sales and Service. New global responsibility for the struggling Lincoln brand was added.
Schoch has been leading Ford’s growth in China, where it has invested more than $4.9 billion to introduce 15 new vehicles by 2015 and double production capacity. With extensive operational experience in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, Schoch now will lead the company’s growth plan for the entire region, having worked alongside Hinrichs for the past year.
Lawler assumes leadership of Ford Motor China, having served as CFO for Asia Pacific Africa, working alongside Hinrichs and. Lawler now will concentrate on the world’s largest automotive market and expansion of Ford’s presence in China, where it is currently a bit player.