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Ford names Fields to replace Mulally effective July 1

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(Ford Motor Co. photos)
Mark Fields

From Crain News Service and wire reports

DETROIT (May 1, 2014) — Ford Motor Co. today named Mark Fields to replace Alan Mulally as CEO on July 1.

“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,” Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement.

“Now, Mark is ready to lead our company into the future as CEO.”

Mr. Fields, 53, emerged as Mr. Mulally’s likely successor when he was promoted to COO in December 2012. The 25-year veteran of Ford was tapped to become Ford’s No. 2 executive after leading the auto maker’s North American operations from deep losses to record profits.

The transition will bring an end to a storied chapter in Ford’s history.

Alan Mulally

Shortly after Mr. Mulally arrived from Boeing Co. in September 2006, he carried out a plan to borrow $23 billion to see the company through the rough times ahead. The loan allowed Ford to avoid the bailouts and bankruptcies that befell the predecessors of General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group L.L.C.

Ford has earned $42.3 billion in the last five years after losing $30.1 billion from 2006 through 2008. Last year, rising sales of Escape SUVs, F-Series pickups and Fusion sedans helped drive Ford’s pretax earnings in North America to a record $8.78 billion.

Ford’s first-quarter net income this year fell 39 percent, marking its weakest quarter since 2010.

Bloomberg contributed to this report, which appeared on the website of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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