Bill Ford’s letter to employees on new CEO
To: All Employees
As I wrote in my employee letter last week, one of the three strategic priorities that I’ve been focusing on this year is Company leadership. While I knew that we were fortunate to have outstanding leaders driving our operations around the world, I also determined that our turnaround effort requires the additional skills of an executive who has led a major manufacturing enterprise through such challenges before.
That’s why I’m very pleased to tell you that Alan Mulally, who as CEO led a successful turnaround at the Commercial Airplane division at The Boeing Company, will become our president and CEO, effective immediately. Alan has deep experience in customer satisfaction, manufacturing, supplier relations and labor relations, all of which have applications to the challenges of Ford. He also has the personality and team-building skills that will help guide our company in the right direction.
Alan is highly-regarded at Boeing and throughout industry. He is extremely well thought of in the Seattle area because he is an outstanding leader and a man of great character. While he is not from the automotive industry, he applied many of the lessons from Ford’s success in developing the Taurus to Boeing’s creation of the revolutionary Boeing 777 airliner. In the book, “Working Together,” author James P. Lewis tells how the leadership principles Alan learned from Ford and honed at Boeing may be applied to other businesses.
I expect Alan to be of great assistance to Mark Fields and the Way Forward team as they accelerate their business plan. After dealing with the troubles at Boeing in the post-9/11 world, Alan knows what it’s like to have your back to the wall – and fight your way out with a well-conceived plan and great execution. He also knows how to deal with long product cycles, changing fuel prices and difficult decisions in a turnaround.
Alan will also be extremely helpful to me as I evaluate our global strategic issues. Let me assure you: I’m not going anywhere. As Executive Chairman, I intend to remain extremely active in the direction of this Company. I’ll be here every day and I will not rest until a prosperous future for this Company is secured. As I have said many times, I have been part of this Company since I was born and I will be a part of it for the rest of my life.
I’m looking forward to an excellent working partnership with Alan and a quick integration into our leadership team.
Please make Alan feel welcome and show him the best that Ford can be.