Mulally gave Ford cars his best years and did all he could for the behemoth. He led it through thick and thin and virtually proved that miracles in engineering and technology do happen on a regular basis.
However, one cannot continue indefinitely and so he is departing from his position as CEO of the giant cars company. In his place will arrive Mark Fields the former COO of Ford Motors. How he fares in the leadership game is a moot point right now.
In its capacity as the #2 car maker in the United States, Ford Motors has a reputation to maintain. And Mark Fields will have to prove his mettle as the head honcho of the organization.
Although the decision to replace Ford CEO is implicit as of now, and has not been shouted from the rooftops, it is a surefire affirmation of the choice of Mark Fields as the main man. As to the future of Alan Mulally, it remains an uncertainty. He will still be in great demand by other top firms.
Ford spokesperson Susan Krusel said, "There is no change from our previous announcements and we do not comment on speculation. We take succession planning very seriously, and we have succession plans in place for each of our key leadership positions. For competitive reasons, we do not discuss our succession plans externally."
The spokespersons for the fairly large company have refused to go into details regarding the filling of slots by newcomers. They take their stuff quite seriously and don’t want to discuss corporate matters in public.
Meanwhile, Fields had been slowly making his advancements through the conglomerate’s ranks. He is a hard worker and has a scientist’s mind.
"I now take over some of the [business plan review] meetings and the running of the daily operations of the company, but we are all working as one team and staying very focused on this record number of launches, growing the business both here and in international markets," Fields said last week at the New York Auto Show.
The focus on business deals and working together as a dedicated team of professionals is precisely the goal that Mark Fields has in mind for Ford. He wants to give it his 100% effort and take the company to the #1 spot instead of playing second fiddle to some other bigwig vehicle manufacturer.
Mulally was an entrepreneur par excellence who forced Ford out of its comfort zone. Whether Fields will build on the foundation he laid for Ford remains to be seen.