Alan Mulally is set to retire from his current post as chief executive of Ford Motor Co. by the end of the year, but that does not mean he is set to exit from the carmaker as well. People privy with Mulally’s plans told Bloomberg News that Ford’s top honcho is almost nailing down on a new post at the carmaker, possibly as a board director or chairman.
The near-decision on Mulally’s part is prompting Ford to announce possibly on May 1 his retirement as well as the appointment of current chief operating officer Mark Fields as new CEO, the sources said. People privy with Ford said Mullaly will turn over control to Fields before the end of 2014.
The sources added that Mulally plans to remain a player in the corporate world, providing voice to the role of manufacturing and innovation in America. With 45 years of top-notch experience at Boeing Co. and Ford, Mulally has become an expert on management and doing business in Asia, and has even advised United States President Barack Obama on international trade.
Jim Press, who held executive positions at Chrysler LLC and Toyota Motor Corp., told Bloomberg that Mulally is in a great position to “go anywhere he wants.” Press remarked that Mulally become a CEO of another company.
He added that Ford’s current CEO could also could also do well a private equity firm in terms of restructuring. Mulally was credited for reviving Boeing’s commercial-plane business after airlines canceled orders in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
At Ford, Mulally instituted a new system in which it develops vehicles for global markets, rather than for individual regions. That system enabled Ford to reduce cost as well as revamp its product lineup with stylish and fuel-efficient models.
In 2013, Ford was able to sell 2,485,236 vehicles in the United States in 2013 for an 11-percent jump. It was also able to increase its US market share to 15.9 percent. Overall, the carmaker posted a 4-percent surge in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2013 to $36.3 billion. However, it recorded a 24-percent drop in pretax operating profit in the period, no thanks to the recall of the Ford Escape, factory shutdowns in South America as well as higher incentives.
Ford’s net income for the quarter of 2013 jumped to $3 billion, over two-thirds of which were made possible by favorable one-time tax benefits. This allowed Ford to log $7.2 billion in net income in the full year 2013, up from $5.7 billion in 2012. Its full-year revenues were up 10 percent to $146.9 billion.