With just a day until Bryce Hoffman's American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company is released, more revelations from the book are hitting the headlines. Among the juiciest: Nissan-Renault chief Carlos Ghosn was offered the top job at Ford prior to Alan Mulally, but turned it down because he didn't want to work for then-CEO Bill Ford.

According to excerpt from the book published by Automotive News, Ford made Ghosn a formal offer in early 2006, but Le Cost Cutter insisted the only way he would come to Ford was if he was named both the CEO and chairman of the board. When Mulally was eventually hired as CEO, Bill Ford stepped aside but retained his position as chairman of the company that shares his surname.

Despite Bill Ford's power at the company that bears his family's name, other excerpts from the book reveals that he didn't always get the straight scoop from other executives. One soon-to-be-famous example concerns the second-generation Ford Focus, which went on sale in Europe in late 2004. Just as most journalists did at the time, Bill Ford wanted to know why the new model wasn't coming to North America. According to the excerpt, then-president Jim Padilla gave his boss a PR-spin-worthy line about "product cycles [that] don't line up."

Ford was unpleased with the explanation, according to the report: "This is all a bunch of [expletive], he fumed as he left the meeting. Nobody will give me a straight answer."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      artandcolour2010
      • 2 Years Ago
      No. Just no. Not then, not in the future. No.
      dubz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wait, he was angry about the focus BS too? Bill Ford is not as stupid as I thought.
      Johnny Trailerpark
      • 2 Years Ago
      BUT, I guess Ford didn't really need him did they?
      tipdrip215
      • 2 Years Ago
      Kudos to Bill. Realizing he wasn't the right guy to oversee Ford's operations day-to-day, he swallowed his pride and stepped down from the CEO spot to hire Mulally. He easily could've been arrogant and stayed there despite Ford's problems, and then when they would need a bailout in 2009 just like GM and Chrysler, control of the company might have gone outside of the Ford family. Ford hit a homerun hiring Mulally and Nissan hit a homerun with Ghosn and he has continued to do great things there ever since, so things have worked out just fine for all involved.
        Robert Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @tipdrip215
        I think Nissan definitely hit a home run with Ghosn who saved them from bankruptcy and eventually got the combined Renault-Nissan to thrive globally . Mullaly on the other hand has seen Ford's global fortunes shrink under his leadership, although the North American profits are up.
      donnieorama
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's alright--we got Mulally. No Ghosn needed.
      Dejan Jovanovic
      • 2 Years Ago
      So Dubai got the book before the US? I read it in two sittings, great stuff. Ford's guys in fact flew to Japan first, waited weeks for a meeting, and got turned down cold, and then tried again with the same result.
      johnb
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thank goodness that guy didn't get the job. Ford would be belly up right now and ******* at the teet of govt like the others.
      dukeisduke
      • 2 Years Ago
      Carlos is a legend in his own mind.
      Pandabear
      • 2 Years Ago
      Glad that Bill is angry at Focus not coming to the US and fire the former CEO for the stupidity. Bill, hiring Mullaly is the best move.
      guyverfanboy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, I think that Carolos Ghosn is a very good CEO, but it is good that Ford chose Alan Mulally instead. Carlos is doing just fine at Renault-Nissan. :P http://uk.askmen.com/celebs/men/business_politics_60/76_carlos_ghosn.html
      Mr Minh
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thanks Ghosn ! We belive In Nissan http://nissanoto.com.vn/
      Gor Se
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think we need Mulally as our next US President :)
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