Ford Motor Co. chief executive Jacques Nasser, whose future at the slumping automaker has been in doubt for months, is being ousted and will be replaced by chairman William Clay Ford Jr., several news sources reported early today.
William Clay Ford Jr., who serves as chairman of the board of the company founded by his great-grandfather Henry Ford, will replace Nasser as CEO, according to the Associated Press.
The replacement of Nasser and other top officials were to be announced today. The shake-up will include the elevation of North American group vp Nick Scheele to COO, the source told AP.
Nasser's fate had been the subject of much speculation in recent months as Ford was plagued by eroding sales, questions about vehicle quality and the ongoing Firestone tire crisis.
Last week, Ford also agreed to reimburse current and former owners of cars and light-trucks that had flawed ignition system – a deal that could cost the automaker up to $2.7-billion.
In May, Firestone ended its tire-supplier relationship with Ford, citing safety concerns about the Ford Explorer SUV. The century-long relationship became strained in the past year after the recall of 6.5-million Firestone tires linked to at least 174 U.S. traffic deaths involving Ford Explorers. Those tires had also been original equipment of Ford light-trucks.
Ford announced in August it would eliminate 4,600 salaried jobs in North America, or as much as 10% of its U.S. white-collar employees, by year-end to save money as its sales and market share decline.