Ford Motor Co. stunned the Motor City a year ago when it named an aerospace engineer with no automotive experience as its CEO. That just wasn't done around here.
It is now. Alan Mulally, 62, is no slave to Ford's insidious, insular culture, partly defined by the denial hastening the automaker's steady decline. Nor is he a "car guy." But he is an accomplished businessman, which is a good thing if the goal is to forge a sustainable enterprise from the shrinking shell of Ford.
A year ago this week, Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. was preparing to essentially fire himself as CEO to make way for Mulally, a 37-year Boeing Co. veteran who guided the aerospace giant's commercial aviation unit through the dark aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, shrank its operations and put it on its current growth track.