Alan Mulally is very proud of his eight-year performance and has no regrets as chief executive of Ford Motor Co., he said during his final annual meeting at the carmaker. He also gave a vote of confidence to his successor, Marks Field, saying that the leadership team, the management system and the strategy is solid.
Fields, Ford’s chief operating officer, will succeed Mulally as CEO effective July 1, 2014. Mulally has disclosed that he is retiring on the said date, which comes six months earlier than planned.
Mulally came on Ford board in 2006 and was responsible for turning around the beleaguered carmaker by globalizing new models, trimming costs, improving technology and revamping its offerings with fuel-efficient vehicles.
During the annual meeting, Mulally received repeated praises from shareholders, with Arthur Knechtel of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, leading a standing ovation. Knechtel also asked Executive Chairman Bill Ford to keep Mulally on in some capacity at the carmaker. William MacNamara, a shareholder from Westport, Connecticut, told the CEO that he have “instilled the American spirit back” into the carmaker.
Mulally remarked that the most important priority for now is to complete the transition. Under his wing, Ford was able to turn three years of losses at $30.1 billion into five years of earnings at $42.3 billion.
The carmaker saw its sales in the United States surge 11 percent in 2013, thanks to high demand for Ford Escape SUVs, F-Series pickups and Fusion sedans. Fitch Ratings upgraded Ford’s outlook to positive from stable on April 22. [source: Bloomberg]