NEWS6 May 2014

Ford names former market research analyst as CEO

Automotive News North America People

US — Mark Fields has come a long way since joining the Ford Motor Company in 1989 as a market research analyst – last week he was named as CEO, replacing the retiring Alan Mulally.


Fields (pictured) will take up his new position on 1 July. He’s been chief operating officer of the company since December 2012, overseeing Ford’s global business operation and most of its “skill” teams, including product development, manufacturing and purchasing, as well as marketing, sales and service.

Prior to this, Fields served as executive vice-president and president, the Americas, from October 2005. There he led “the development and implementation of a restructuring plan for the company’s North America business that resulted in turning around heavy losses to record profits, significantly improving brand favourability and improving operating efficiency”, the company said.

From 2002 to 2004, he was group vice-president, Premier Automotive Group (PAG), and from 2004 to 2005 served as executive vice-president, Ford of Europe and PAG, where he led all activities for Ford’s European-based business and its former global luxury brands – Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin.

From 1998 to 2002, he served at Mazda Motors Corporation, first as global marketing and sales director and then as president and managing director. It was during his leadership of Mazda that he was named a Ford Motor Company officer in December 1999.

Fields was due to take over Ford at the end of the year, however the leadership transition has been moved forward by six months at the recommendation of Mulally, who has been CEO for the past eight years.

Executive chairman Bill Ford praised Mulally’s leadership, during which time “Ford not only survived the global economic crisis, it emerged as one of the world’s strongest auto companies”.

“From the first day we discussed Ford’s transformation eight years ago, Alan and I agreed that developing the next generation of leaders and ensuring an orderly CEO succession were among our highest priorities,” Ford said. “Mark has transformed several of our operations around the world into much stronger businesses during his 25 years at Ford. Now, Mark is ready to lead our company into the future as CEO.”