Ford: Mulally to stay CEO, Mark Fields stepping into COO role
Ford leadership shifted slightly as Fields is named COO
Ford on Thursday said CEO Alan Mulally would be sticking around until at least 2014 but Mark Fields will take the reins as chief operating officer.
Fields is the automaker's Americas president. His new role is effective Dec 1.
It could prepare him to eventually take over for Mulally. The 67-year-old Mulally said in September that he hasn't told the board when he plans to retire.
Mulally is highly respected at Ford for saving the company from financial collapse. Shortly after he was hired away from Boeing Co. in 2006, he mortgaged all of Ford's assets for a huge loan. The $23.5 billion loan paid for a restructuring and helped keep Ford out of bankruptcy protection.
Fields, 51, has long been the front-runner to succeed Mulally. For years he has run the company's most profitable operations in North, South and Central America. He also ran Mazda when Ford had a big stake in the Japanese automaker, leading the company to sales success. Fields also was the architect of restructuring plans that turned Ford from a huge money-loser to a successful company.
- The company also made several other concurrent leadership announcements, also effective Dec. 1, 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 a world-class, 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