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A CEO whom all auto companies wish they had

May 07, 2014 08:59 IST

A CEO whom all auto companies wish they had

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The years 2008-2009 were one of the worst depressions in the history of automobiles. The crisis was part of the global economic downturn which also affected the automakers of America, Europe and Asia.

But Ford Motors was the company which was riding on the recession. The company was also the only manufacturer from the ‘Big three’ (General Motors, Chrysler and Ford) to avoid the bailout package of the government.

This happened under the leadership of CEO Alan Mulally, who not only helped the company to regain its lost position in the market but also returned it to profitability.

Alan Mulally’s achievements were incredible at Ford and were even recorded in a book dedicated to his triumphs.

Since joining the Ford Motors in September 2006, Mulally went on a crusade to transform the company into one of the leading and money spinning automakers of the world.

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Image: Alan Mulally, President and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company at the Michigan International Speedway.
Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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Managing Ford

Alan Mulally succeeded William Clay Ford Junior aka Bill Ford, the great grandson of founder Henry Ford. Bill recruited Mulally from Boeing Commercial Airplanes in 2006. William Clay still serves as the executive chairman of the Board of Directors.

On joining Ford Motors, Alan Mulally’s first crucial decision was to revive the Taurus nameplate which was made non-operational when it started backsliding in the late 1990s.

Taurus has been one of the bestselling cars from Ford’ stable and is currently in its sixth generation.

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Image: Alan Mulally in Valencia.
Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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A CEO whom all auto companies wish they had

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Secondly, he took control of ‘The Way Forward’ restructuring plan to improve its enormous losses and deteriorating market shares. Moreover, the net profits to shareholders were also suspended.

His cost-cutting strategies led the company to return first profitable quarter in just two years of time.

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Image: Alan Mulally, President and CEO, Ford Motor Co. in the driver's seat of the new 2013 Ford Fusion during the Charity Preview at the 2012 North American International Auto Show.
Photographs: Courtesy, Ford
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Thirdly in 2006, he managed to arrange $23.6 billion by mortgaging all the assets of the company. His intention was to use this money in order to renovate the company and to provide a covering to protect it from declining or some other unexpected event.

At that time, this was termed as a sign of worry but today is widely acknowledged as the major decision taken for stabilising the financial position of the company.

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Image: Ford CEO Alan Mulally presents the all-new Ford Mustang in Times Square, New York.
Photographs: Courtesy, Ford
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A CEO whom all auto companies wish they had

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Fourthly, he moved on to sale the Jaguar and Land Rover brands to Indian auto manufacturer Tata Motors and accumulated $ 2.3 billion from it.

This decision was one of the finest decisions he made because in 2008, Jaguar Land Rover sales faced steep downfall and as a result Tata Motors requested a bailout package from the British government.

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Image: President Obama tours the all new Ford Motor Company Kansas City Stamping Plant with Alan Mulally, Ford CEO.
Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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He also sold off Aston Martin and Volvo brands and ultimately reduced company’s shares in Mazda.

In the midst of economic slump of 2008, Ford announced to cut his salary to $1 per year which he was later compensated in the form of base salary of $ 2 million and stock and option awards of worth $ 1,849241 and $8,666,747 respectively.

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Image: Alan Mulally in Valencia.
Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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Achievements, Awards and Honors

Alan Mulally was a man with the mission. He took Ford to new heights in eight years of time.

Under his leadership, company introduced One Ford plan which in turn achieve company 19 profitable quarters in a row.

He also negotiated four new agreements with United Auto Workers, the labour union in America. The agreement brought down labour costs from $76/hour to $55/hour.

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Image: Alan Mulally Ford Motor Company President and CEO delivered the show's opening keynote address next to a 2011 Ford Fiesta.
Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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Due to his incredible achievements at Ford, he was inducted in the ‘2009 Time 100’ list. In 2011, he was honoured with ‘Person of the Year’ by Financial Times and also in the same year bestowed with the honour of ‘2011 CEO of the Year’ award by Chief Executive magazine.

He was also granted the honorary degree of Doctorate by University of Kansas for his remarkable contribution to industries of engineering and transportation.

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Image: Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally delivers his third consecutive keynote address at the 2011 International CES which included the introduction of the all-new Focus Electric.
Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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Alan Mulally will be retiring this year on 1st July and Ford Motors has officially announced that Mark Fields, the current Chief Operating Officer (COO) will be the next CEO of the company.

Mark has worked extensively for over 25 years in the company giving his service in the field of production development, marketing, purchasing, manufacturing, sales and service.

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Image: Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford (middle) announced that Alan Mulally (left) has decided to retire from the company July 1, and Mark Fields will be named Ford president and chief executive officer and elected as a member of the company's board of directors.
Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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Mark Fields has also helped the company on several occasions to earn profit from record loss of several years.

Ford Motors successfully regained its lost position over the years across the world and especially as an American icon. Ford Chairman William Clay Ford once said that Alan Mulally was the right choice he made and it gets more right every day.

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Image: Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Company, President and CEO, visited the Ford display during NADA Convention and Expo.
Photographs: Courtesy, Ford

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