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Bill Ford steps down

Wed, 06 Sep 2006 00:00:00 -0700

By Angus Fitton

Motor Industry

06 September 2006 08:50

Bill Ford is set to step aside as chief executive of Ford Motor Company.

Replacing him is 61-year-old Alan Mulally, previously the boss of Boeing's commercial aircraft division. Ford stepped down as part of a major management reshuffle designed to reverse the ailing fortunes of the world’s third largest car manufacturer. Ford reported a $1.3billion loss in the first half of this year.

Aston Martin and the future of Jaguar and Land Rover under Ford ownership is by no means certain. Bill Ford, great-grandson of Henry Ford, has been chief executive since 2001. Ford announced the move yesterday. 'Alan knows what it’s like to have your back to the wall and fight your way out with a well-conceived plan and great execution. He knows how to deal with long product cycles, changing fuel prices and difficult decisions.'

Mulally's background at Boeing lies in supplier and labour relations in addition to manufacturing and customer service. It will fall to him to instigate the massive turnaround needed to boost Ford's fortunes - starting with the business in North America. Although he steps down as chief executive Bill Ford will stay on as executive chairman of Ford Motor Company.

By Angus Fitton