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Philip Caldwell, Ford CEO after Henry Ford II, dies at 93
Automotive News
July 11, 2013
by Bill Koenig

DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Philip Caldwell, Ford Motor Co.'s first CEO who wasn't a member of the founder's family, and who gambled the automaker's future on the Taurus sedan in the 1980s, has died. He was 93.

He died Wednesday at his home in New Canaan, Conn., his family said. The cause was complications of a stroke.

Caldwell followed in the footsteps of more famous executives. He became president of Ford in 1978 after Henry Ford II fired Lee Iacocca.

"Hank the Deuce," grandson of founder Henry Ford, then chose Caldwell as his successor, first as CEO in 1979 and as chairman the following year. His close relationship with Henry Ford II earned Caldwell the nickname "The Prince" inside the company, according to a New York Times profile in 1979.

He was "remarkably cool and resolute in a crisis," wrote Paul Ingrassia and Joseph B. White in their 1994 book, Comeback: The Fall and Rise of the American Automobile Industry. He "had enormous analytical skills and the determination to examine any problem from every conceivable angle," they wrote.

As president and then CEO, Caldwell presided over a turnaround. Ford endured almost $3.3 billion of losses during two U.S. recessions from 1980 through 1982, as well as questions over the design and safety of its Pinto model.

"Philip Caldwell had a remarkable impact at Ford Motor Company over a span of more than 30 years," Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement.

"Serving as CEO and later as Chairman of the Board of Directors, he helped guide the company through a difficult turnaround in the 1980s and drove the introductions of ground-breaking products around the globe. His dedication and relentless passion for quality always will be hallmarks of his legacy at Ford. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

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