Ford confirmed today that, although it has shuffled several of its key executives, 67-year-old CEO Alan Mulally will keep his position at least through 2014. That goes against rumors earlier this year that Ford was rearranging its executive ranks so that Mulally could retire in the next year or two.
However, one earlier rumor that came true is the promotion of Mark Fields to chief operating officer, a position that has been empty at Ford since 2006. It's generally believed that the 51-year-old Fields is being groomed to take over from Mulally as CEO. Fields was appointed Ford vice president and president of the Americas in 2005. Since then, Ford credits him with "the transformation of the company’s North American operations and its record profitability."
Jim Farley, currently group vice president of global marketing, sales, and service, has been appointed executive vice president of global marketing, sales, and service -- and also the Lincoln luxury brand. In his new role as head of Lincoln, Farley is being tasked with "the re-invention of Lincoln as a world-class, global luxury brand." He was previously group vice president and general manager of Lexus, helping build the Japanese brand's reputation. Farley, 50, is also rumored to be in the running to take over from Mulally as CEO of Ford.
Ford's Joe Hinrichs will replace Mark Fields as executive vice president and president of the Americas, leaving his current role as group vice president and president of Asia Pacific Africa. Stephen Odell moves from group vice president, chairman and CEO of Ford Europe to executive vice president and president of Ford Europe, Middle East, and Africa. David Schoch moves from CEO of Ford of China to group vice president and president of Asia Pacific. And John Lawler moves from CFO of Ford Asia Pacific Africa to chairman and CEO of Ford of China.
All executive appointments are effective December 1.