In July of this year, Mark Fields will succeed Alan Mulally as CEO of the Ford Motor Company. This is big news not only because Ford is such a large and prolific organization, but also because Mulally leaves behind him a legacy, that of hard work and success.
Born in 1945 in Oakland, CA, Mulally was raised in Lawrence, Kansas. He stayed home for school and ended up at the University of Kansas, where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. He would later further that education at MIT.
His transition out of college and into business was immediate as he joined airline manufacturing giant Boeing, in 1969. His efforts helped him craft major aircraft cockpits and helped propel him to VP of Engineering and SVP of Airplane development. After management experience at Boeing, Mulally became the CEO of Ford in 2006. Mullaly took the reins of a prestigious company that was losing money in the tens of billions. He sought to and succeeding in reversing that trend by going against the grain. Ford leveraged their assets, all 23.6 billon of them, in doing their own borrowing in an effort to save the company themselves, while refusing to take the same U.S Government bailout accepted by General Motors and Chrysler. Not to be outdone again, amidst criticism for his means of transport, Mulally decided to sell all but one of the Ford corporate jets.
Mullaly also made selling decisions to help stabilize Ford’s financial position. He decided to sell off Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo. Mulally also reportedly negotiated with United Auto Workers, and in the process, lowered the cost of labor from $76 to $55 dollars per hour.
Mulally, A self-described family man, credits a lot of the energy that he used to powerfully manage Ford to having a United and Supportive Family. Mark Fields has big shoes to fill as he takes over for a man that helped steer Ford out of near destruction and towards immense profitability.