Automakers and their executives rarely like to divulge information regarding future goings on, but the board of directors at Ford sound like they're getting a little antsy about chief executive officer Alan Mulally and his plans for 2014.

According to Reuters, as news of Mulally's possible departure to Microsoft continues to swirl, Ford's board is looking to push the affable executive to make a decision about his future sooner rather than later. Apparently, the board is growing concerned that this will-he/won't-he drama may end up distracting the media from covering Ford's other big news events next year – items like the debut of key all-new products like the Mustang and F-150.

So far, the picture for Mulally's eventual successor remains fuzzy, but it's understood that the leading candidate remains the company's chief operating officer, Mark Fields. Just recently, we heard that Mulally will stay until the end of 2014, but a few months ago, Ford seemed open to the idea of him stepping down earlier than that.

Based on the turnaround Mulally has spearheaded at the automaker, we don't imagine Ford's board is particularly anxious to get rid of him, but it does sound like they'd like to firm up their plans sooner rather than later.

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