Ford has confirmed Alan Mulally will be stepping down as CEO after nearly eight years at the helm, with current chief operating officer Mark Fields set to succeed the 68-year-old from July 1.
Mulally’s decision to retire six months earlier than previously expected is, according to a statement from Ford Motors, based on his belief in “the readiness of Ford’s leadership team.”
"Alan and I feel strongly that Mark and the entire leadership team are absolutely ready to lead Ford forward, and now is the time to begin the transition," explained executive chairman Bill Ford, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford.
53-year-old Fields certainly has experience at the Detroit-based manufacturer, having joined in 1989 and worked his way up through the company.
Since taking over as COO in December 2012, he’s led Ford’s global business operations and a large number of its teams, including product development, manufacturing, purchasing, as well as marketing, sales and service.
"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," added Bill Ford.
Alan Mulally’s retirement brings an end to a 45-year career primarily spent at Boeing. On joining Ford in September 2006, he set about transforming the company and was central to the success of the One Ford global plan for profitable growth.
Described by Ford as the “company’s most ambitious global expansion in the past half century”, the result has been 19 consecutive quarters of profitability.
Commenting on Mulally’s success and his own plans for the role, Mark Fields emphasised the significance of the One Ford plan: ”My commitment is to build on that success by accelerating our pace of progress. All of us at Ford are committed to delivering even more of the great products and innovations that will deliver growth and define our company going forward."