Bill Ford went on the offensive to combat the rumors that CEO Alan Mulally would leave Dearborn for Steve Ballmer's vacated position leading Microsoft, adding that even if the 68-year-old, former Boeing exec were to depart, the Ford executive team is in a good place.

"I'm happy [Mulally] is going to stick around. But we also feel really good about where we are in terms of succession," Ford told Bloomberg TV, according to Automotive News. Rumors first cropped up about Mulally leaving Ford when AllThingsD speculated that he was in the running, early last month. In that same report, which you can read here, Ford's board of directors reportedly okayed the CEO stepping down ahead of his planned retirement in 2014.

That opened the floodgates, culminating in a report from a few days ago that the rumors over Ballmer's successor just might be true. The story is especially troubling, as Ford hasn't had Mulally under contract, according to AN. "He's here as long as he and I would like it to happen," Ford said, "We're also cognizant of training the next generation and getting them ready to go as well."

But from the sounds of it, even if Mulally did depart, which Ford doesn't seem to think will happen, he sounds extremely confident in Mark Fields and the other leaders in Dearborn. "As good as Alan is, we knew that he wasn't going to last forever. Nobody does. We have the best team today that we've had in my working career. I feel really good, as does Alan, about where we are going forward."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      Lewis
      • 1 Year Ago
      The question for Ford is whether the evident changes in company culture that Mulally has wrought have been securely embedded in how it does business, or whether Mulally's success is based in a major way solely upon his own personal magnetism. If the latter, no matter who may eventually lead Ford, Ford stands a good chance of reverting to what it was before Mulally, a company without much focus and rife with divisive fiefdoms. Should that occur, Ford will be doomed.
        Seal Rchin
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Lewis
        Your entire statement is based on assumption that Mullaly did a good job. Design language improved drastically...........but Mullaly is not behind that. Focus, Edge, Fusion are some of the best looking cars out there. Mullaly is a manufacturing guy, quality guy, under his tenure quality was pretty bad, Tranny in Focus, 4 recalls in first 3 month of sales for Escape, MyFordTouch.....a damaged product that was sold to people and to day has issues,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Mullaly has not done a good job at all. Also economy improved and sales increased..............the turn around has nothing to do with him. BTW, Mullaly was in charge of 787 in Boeng.............huge quality issues.
          carlotta
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          Fusion seems to have worst in class quality - CR noted that they hadn't seen such poor assembly in a long time.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Seal Rchin
          [blocked]
      dukeisduke
      • 1 Year Ago
      They may have a deep bench, but they're going to miss Mulally when he's gone.
      Andrew
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mulaly is a horrible ceo all he did was kill brands and somehow hes a hero Dan Akersonis 1000x better than Mulaly. Look at the facts boys and girls Lincoln vs Cadillac. No one in their rihgt mind would pick any lincoln from any decade past or present over any Cadillac. End of Story. Bill Ford looks mental in this picture. they should just close up shop.
        Jeremy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Andrew
        You seem to know nothing about business and are coming off as a fan boy. Also Cadillac has been working on developing better cars for a lot longer than Dan has been CEO . Cadillac has come along way starting with the first CTS, it all just didn't start to happen in 2010 when Dan assumed the CEO position. Lincoln is pretty uninspiring right now and has been for a while , but that does not mean Mulaly is a bad CEO . They have just now started to put attention on Lincoln and like Cadillac it prob wont be for a while till they are notable again.
          GFB
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jeremy
          I agree Jeremy. Lincoln, however, did have the head start with a fine car, the Lincoln LS before the CTS. I see them on the road still and not a beater in the bunch. Every owner seems to know what they have, unlike Ford. Ford let it die on the vine and then gave up rights to the DEW98 chassis when it sold Jaguar (at a painful loss, I might add). Jag still uses the DEW98 for the XF, though that will change next model year (because, unlike Ford, Jaguar is investing in new 21st century RWD architecture). So far, Ford's "investment" in Lincoln is to give them hand-me-up Ford and Volvo platforms with the instructions to make luxury cars out of them. I call it the silk purse out of sow's ear mandate. It's not going to work in the long run and there is no indication from Ford that they are working on new distinct platform architecture for Lincoln. That's a bad omen for Lincoln. That and the fact that Mulally had to be convinced not to deep-six Lincoln when they dropped Mercury. I haven't been enamored with Jim Farley's statements about Lincoln but I realize that he had to hew to the party line. He does appear to be a "car guy" so if he is named CEO, there's a slight glimmer of hope that Lincoln might finally be put on the right path. Will it be too late?
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
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