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Insight: Ford 'lifers' get second chance as CEO readies exit - Reuters
By Deepa Seetharaman - Mon Dec 16, 2013


Every Wednesday, Ford Motor Co's top executives gather before sunrise to work through some of the company's most vexing problems. Notably absent is Chief Executive Alan Mulally.

The 2-1/2-hour meetings, which mainly focus on vehicle quality issues, were started by Mark Fields after he was appointed chief operating officer a year ago - a clear sign that a changing of the guard is under way at the No. 2 U.S. automaker...

..."Collectively we have helped change the culture - it's not just relegated to one particular individual," Fields told reporters in September. "It's really about all of us looking to build on the things over the years that have made our culture so strong."...

...In September 2005, then-CEO Bill Ford tapped Fields to staunch mounting losses in North America. Fields devised a restructuring plan dubbed the "Way Forward," but it did not go far enough...

...Ford announced last year that the [Thursday] BPRs would now be run by Fields, another sign that he was being tested as Mulally's heir. Mulally still attends *those* meetings...

...Ford executives point out that it was in the crucible of Fields' "Way Forward" that the current senior leaders began to develop their rapport. Fields' attempted cultural overhaul took shape during fast-paced daily meetings at the company's product development center in Dearborn, Michigan. Executives who worked on the "Way Forward" and a later effort to accelerate that plan describe the room as "a hole."

But over cold sandwiches and salads at lunch, senior leaders - including Fields, Hinrichs, Shanks, global product development chief Raj Nair and incoming global design chief Moray Callum - began to forge a bond.

Sometimes they discussed new models, sometimes TV's "American Idol." The idea to delay the Lincoln Town Car's demise by shifting production to Canada sprung from these lunches. In the fall of 2006, they briefed each other on the new CEO, Alan Mulally.

"We'd see each other almost every day at lunch time and that was kind of our unstructured (time)," said Hinrichs, who joined Ford 13 years ago. "There was a lot of camaraderie that came from collectively the group working through the Way Forward stuff every day, the Way Forward Acceleration stuff every day and rebuilding the North American business."

More...

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insert [Thursday] and emphasis *those* & bolding by 2b2
 

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"In September 2005, then-CEO Bill Ford tapped Fields to staunch mounting losses in North America. Fields devised a restructuring plan dubbed the "Way Forward," but it did not go far enough."

Another reason why Fields is a bad choice.
 

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I read somewhere they were sabotaging each other and tapping phone lines. You would've thought it was the Cold War at Ford. Alan deserves alot of credit besides just turning around the finances, he changed the mentallity of manegement at Ford. It's proof on how management can mess up but the workers(UAW) takes the blame.
 

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I've never liked Mark Field for the CEO seat. I don't really know why, I just don't trust him to take that position in the Ford empire. I hope he proves me wrong if he's indeed the new CEO...
 
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