Two of Ford Motor Co.’s most prominent personalities -- CFO Lewis Booth and global product development chief Derrick Kuzak – will be retiring on April 1. They have been instrumental in the recovery of the automaker. In a statement, Ford said that the successor of 63-year-old Booth is Bob Shanks, the company’s vice president and controller.
Meanwhile, Ford will replace 60-year-old Kuzak with Raj Nair, who is the current vice president of engineering for global product development. Ford said that 59-year-old Shanks and 47-year-old Nair will take on their new roles on April 1.
Booth was one of the names mentioned as a likely successor to Ford CEO Alan Mulally, who will be turning 67 years old in August. Mulally hasn’t said anything about what he plans for retirement except to say that Ford has a deep executive bench.
During a media conference call, Mulally said that Ford is “absolutely committed to a robust succession plan.” In a statement, Bill Ford, the automaker's executive chairman, said that Booth and Kuzak stand for the “very best of Ford and our culture and built a legacy of leadership, integrity and commitment to excellence” that would help the company for many years.
He said that Booth and Kuzak had been “absolutely integral” to Ford’s return and so they would be retiring with the company’s “deepest respect and gratitude." After suffering losses of over $30 billion from 2006 through 2008, Ford was then able to post three straight years of profit. Mulally denied reports that he plans to retire by the end of 2013. He started working in Ford from Boeing Co. in 2006 as the car company was heading to a $12.6 billion loss for that year.