Alan Mulally, outgoing chief executive of Ford Motor Co., plans to continue advising successor Mark Fields, while keeping in contact with the carmaker. Mulally is slated to step down from his post in July. “I’m going to stay close to Ford going forward,” he told Bloomberg Television in an interview.
Mulally was expected to step down by the end of 2014, but Ford said the CEO had decided to exit six months earlier than planned to make way for Fields. People with knowledge of Mulally’s plans told Automotive News that the CEO has been lining up a corporate post -- probably as a board director or chairman.
Mulally said the Bloomberg TV interview that he had fallen in love with Ford, adding that it is “a great company.” Mulally jumped from Boeing Co. to Ford in 2006, and became the mastermind of the carmaker’s turnaround from a near bankruptcy.
He managed to keep Ford from federal bailouts that fellow US carmakers -- predecessors of General Motors and Chrysler Group – fell into. He was credited for establishing a collaborative culture at the carmaker. He is known for calling a mandatory meeting every Thursday morning with his top lieutenant to discuss how to find and solve problems.
Mulally said in the Bloomberg TV interview that he is expecting his successor to continue those major processes. He added that his approach could also work in any company or government agency that that is trying to deliver “something that is really important.”
He wouldn’t disclose whether he would accept a position like the chief of Department of Veterans Affairs after his exit from Ford.
The department’s secretary, Eric Shinseki, resigned on May 30 after an internal audit discovered systemic mismanagement and delays in medical care for US military veterans.
Ford has been experiencing since Mulally outlined his One Ford global product plan. Before, Ford was a carmaker which focus is on pickup trucks, SUVs and gas-guzzling cars. Now, Ford is a carmaker offering strong products on different fronts. Mulally was mainly responsible for instituting a new system in which the carmaker develops vehicles for global markets, rather than for individual regions. This new system allowed Ford to cut cost as well as revamp its product lineup with stylish yet fuel-efficient models.
In 2013, Ford sold 2,485,236 vehicles in the US and increased its market share to 15.9 percent. Ford posted $7.2 billion in net income in 2013, up from $5.7 billion a year ago in 2012.