Former Ford chairman, CEO Harold Poling has died

Poling help in company's turnaround in 1980s, 1990s

Published On: May 15 2012 12:38:06 PM EDT   Updated On: May 15 2012 09:53:21 PM EDT
PACIFIC GROVES, Calif. -

Harold "Red" Poling the former chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Company has died.

He was 86 years old.

"With a list of accomplishments that span 43 years, including leading the company through a remarkable turnaround during the 1980s and 1990s, Red was respected by all for his leadership, his passion for being the low-cost producer and his genuine affinity for people. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family," Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford, said in a statement.

Poling was succeeded by Alex Trotman.

Poling interned at Ford while at Indiana. After receiving his degree, he returned to the automaker as a cost analyst in its steel division's controller's office.

Poling worked his way up through the ranks to lead Ford's European operations in the 1970s and became a member of the automaker's board in 1979. He went on to serve as its chief operating officer and vice chairman in the 1980s, before being named CEO in March 1990.

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