Ford taps Boeing exec as CEO

Bill Ford, chairman of Ford Motor Co., has decided to relinquish his CEO position and has turned day-to-day management of the company over to former Boeing executive Alan Mulally, who now holds the title of president & CEO

Bill Ford, chairman of Ford Motor Co., has decided to relinquish his CEO position and has turned day-to-day management of the company over to former Boeing executive Alan Mulally, who now holds the title of president & CEO.

“I determined that our turnaround effort required the skills of an executive who has led a major manufacturing enterprise through such challenges before,” said Ford in an e-mail to company employees.

“Alan [Mulally], who turned around the commercial airplanes division at Boeing has deep experience in customer satisfaction, manufacturing, supplier relations and labor relations – all of which have applications to the challenges of Ford. He also has the personality and team-building skills that will help guide our company in the right direction.”

The news comes as Ford Motor Co. struggles with mounting financial losses as sales keep sliding, especially for its profitable light-truck products.

The company lost $123 million in the second quarter this year, after showing a profitable $946 million during the same quarter in 2005. Overall sales in the second quarter dropped $2.5 billion to $42 billion compared to the same period last year.

In August, truck sales dropped 20.7% to 157,311 units compared to the same month in 2005. Year-to-date truck sales through August were down 16.8% to 1.26 million units compared to the same period last year.

Sales of the venerable F-Series—from the F-150 pickup up through the F-250, 350, and 450 commercial-grade pickups—fell 15% in August and are down 12.7% for the year. Sales of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are even worse year to date, with the Explorer down 30.7%, the Expedition off 37.3% and the Excursion down 91.9%.
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