How do you replace the man credited by Time Magazine with managing "the biggest business turnaround of the Great Recession?" That's a very good question, and one that the Ford board of directors is grappling with as company CEO Alan Mulally edges closer to retirement age.

At 66, Mulally isn't exactly far past his prime, and Executive Chairman Bill Ford is said to be in no hurry to welcome in a successor. That said, the timing of Mulally's exit from Ford is likely to be a determining factor in the decision to hire his replacement.

Current CFO Lewis Booth, at 63 years of age, could potentially hold the seat at the head of Ford for a few years if Mulally were to retire earlier than expected. If that doesn't happen, Mark Fields, Ford's President of the Americas, is cited as the most likely choice as its next CEO.

There are two other potential candidates, reports Automotive News. Jim Farley, vice president of global marketing, is on the short list, as is Joe Hinrichs, who heads Ford's Asia Pacific and African operations.

Insiders suggest that Ford may choose to keep Alan Mulally on its payroll in some unknown capacity to help mentor his replacement. Such a move could potentially keep both the rank-and-file Ford workers and Wall Street investors satiated.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      C'mon, Ford! Just clone Mulally!
        Andrew L
        • 3 Years Ago
        We have the technology... We can make him better
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      IMHO Mulally is the best thing to happen to this company, even in his old age. I hope he can give them a few more good years. Look at the cars Ford are putting out now. Engines that rival the Japanese and German competition.. sleek looking cars.. no more rental car stigma.. and an investment into future powertrains such as hybrids and electric drive.
      • 3 Years Ago
      As a loyal Ford owner ('10 Taurus SHO, '08 Ford Explorer) and a stock holder, I surely hope that Mulally's successor can continue the same success as the company has achieved over the past few years. I'm a little on edge about it, but I think Ford will be okay now that they're on the right track.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hope they can get a few more years out of Mulally. In my opinion, he's one of the best CEOs in recent memory...especially having been brought in from another industry. That said, Mark Fields would be great--a true product guy.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Never, EVER appoint a financial guy to head a manufacturing operation. In my 40 years of being in an industry as an accountant, each and every company I have worked for have FAILED after they hired the financial guy to ruin, er, run the company.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mulallay was/is a great CEO, but I also give some credit to Bill Ford, who when realizing he was in over his head, brought in a professional manager to run Ford. I've no doubt they'll be able to do it again.
        AMG THIS
        • 3 Years Ago
        Very little credit goes to Bill. The Company tanked under his leadershit and then his short list of replacements included Carlos Ghosn and Dieter Zetche. Dieter did such a remarkable job at runbning Chrysler....NOT. Bill got LUCKY with Alan, and he knows it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I just hope whomever replaces him keeps Ford on the right track. I'm very impressed to see how well a "non-car-guy" was able to run Ford. Hopefully, many of the people with whom he interfaced with every week will take away some of the good habits he instilled in them and keep Mr. Mulally's spirit alive in the company.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm not typically a Ford guy, but I'll admit it'll be a bummer to see Mr. Mulally go. Can't blame him though, he's done more than his share and deserves to enjoy his retirement when he decides it's time. Good luck to the poor guy who has to follow that act! :D
      • 3 Years Ago
      In my opinion, Mulally is one of the greatest CEO's in history for what he was able to do with Ford. That's why we bought one.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope one of them is Alan Mulally.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mr. Mulally left Boeing and Boeing tanked. No one else could pull off the switch to composite airplanes. I think Mulally would have made it work. Kudos to Bill Ford for knowing when to step aside, smart move! If Ford replaces Mulally with a marketing guy or a financial guy it will drop them down to the level of the GM dipswitches. 66 isn't old, hang on to Mulally for at least ten more years, meanwhile groom some Mulally clones with the same bandwidth and original thinking. We will need a healthy Ford to counter balance a tanking GM where badge engineering is back in vogue.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think Mr. Mulally did amazing job on new ford models but not so much on Lincoln brand.
        • 3 Years Ago
        They haven't put the same effort into the Lincoln brand yet...that's just starting. Give it time.
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