A Ford spokeswoman said there is no search underway.
Chairman Bill Ford Jr. has repeatedly said the company would like to fill the position from within. Mr. Mulally and Mr. Ford declined to be interviewed on the matter, but Mr. Ford said in a written response to questions: "At Ford, we are fortunate to have a strong list of internal candidates and the Board is pleased to support their further development. While our preference always will be to develop talent internally, we also survey the external environment for potential candidates as a regular course of action."
All the top candidates have a good resumé. Mr. Martens led product development for Ford until 2005, when he left the company. He was at former auto supplier ArvinMeritor Inc. before joining Novelis. Mr. Krafcik worked in product development for Ford for 14 years before leaving in 2004 to join Hyundai.
Mr. Fields leads Ford's North and South American operations, now the principal profit center at the company. He led the recent turnaround of North America and overcame early troubles to become one of Mr. Mulally's top lieutenants. Mr. Hinrichs worked atGeneral Motors Co. before joining Ford. He was in charge of manufacturing before being put in charge of Asia two years ago.
Why would they be looking for a Mullaly replacement NOW???
Mullaly will be around till Lincoln is fully remade and back in the spotlight........AT THE MINIMUM.
imho any well-run business of sufficient size has on-going discussions of how to best use the talents of its employees - esp its execs
also imho, there is No Way those discussions will be able to leak before the company chooses to let the news out
so this is either raw speculation or planned publicity
NEITHER of which have any real bearing on the outcome...
...that's not to say it's wrong
considered posting this separately but the topics covered are pretty general
could be looked at (by me) as Mark Fields publicly 'auditioning' for the top job
Mark Fields on "Autoline This Week"
^ imho he did good
Ford’s Mr. Inside, in Sight of the Crown - NYTimes
By BILL VLASIC
Published: February 18, 2012
...The Ford Motor Company, his employer for the last 23 years, is in the midst of a remarkable turnaround. Since the American auto industry’s big wreck in 2008, Ford has reported 10 consecutive profitable quarters. And Ford, the only one of Detroit’s Big Three that wasn’t bailed out by taxpayers, has steadily gained market share with each new product it has introduced. To top it off, the biggest contributor to this comeback, by far, is Mr. Fields’s business unit, which encompasses all of Ford’s manufacturing and sales in North and South America...
...“We do have a lot to celebrate, and we have a wonderful opportunity to take the business to the next level,” Mr. Fields said in an interview just before the meeting. “The key is not getting — and I hate this word — complacent.”...
...So instead of opening his weekly management session that February morning with a glowing recap of Ford’s $8.8 billion operating profit for 2011, he instead passed out a sheaf of news reports casting doubt on its future, including one headlined, “Are Ford’s Best Days Behind Them?"
And while Ford’s global operating margins were a relatively healthy 6 percent in 2011, they fell far short of the 9 percent at rivals like Volkswagen and Hyundai. Among all automakers, Ford ranked only sixth in profits earned on each vehicle sold.
“No one wants to say, ‘We’re No. 6,’ ” said Amit Singhi, the Americas division controller.
That’s exactly the message that Mr. Fields wanted to drive home. With its international operations struggling, Ford urgently needs better margins from its core business in the United States to continue to grow. Its impressive recovery, he said, will mean little if results plateau now.
“All the hard work has gotten us to this point,” he said. “It’s like we’ve gotten to base camp on Mount Everest, and now we have to climb the mountain.”...
...the retirements of Mr. Booth, 63, and Mr. Kuzak, 60, who have been instrumental in Ford’s recovery, are the first signs of a changing of the guard...
...During a wide-ranging interview, Mr. Fields frowns only when asked about his chances to run Ford after Mr. Mulally. “Very simply, my ambition is just to contribute as much as I can to the profitable growth of Ford, and that means running the Americas,” he said. “Otherwise you get distracted. And I’m not going to allow that to happen.”...
MORE of long article
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Will Bill Ford Jr never be CEO again?