Nick Scheele was born in the UK in 1944 and joined the Ford Motor Company upon graduating from the University of Durham in 1966, staying within the Blue Oval's portfolio for the entirety of his career. After moving to North America in 1978, he rose through the ranks to become president of Ford's Mexican operations in 1988. After acquiring Jaguar, Ford appointed Scheele as its chairman.
Scheele subsequently acted as chairman of all of Ford's European operations, making difficult decisions to take the division out of the red and into the black. He briefly headed up Ford's North American division before he was appointed in 2001 as president and chief operating officer of the global automaker, working under CEO Bill Ford following the departure of Jacques Nasser and retaining the role until his retirement in 2005.
Throughout his career and into retirement, Scheele was an active member of his community, serving as chancellor of the University of Warwick, chairing campaigns for the United Way of Southeastern Michigan and promoting the activities of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. His role in saving Jaguar and service to the British automotive industry earned him a knighthood in 2001. Sir Nicholas is survived by his wife Ros, children Paul, Hannah and Jim and five grandchildren, to whom we extend our condolences.
Statement Regarding the Death Today of Nick Scheele
The following statement is attributable to Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company
"Nick Scheele was an outstanding leader whose global experience and passion for our products served Ford Motor Company at a critical time. His impressive career spanned more than 38 years, including three years as our president and chief operating officer working alongside me. Not only did Nick help us overcome many challenges at the time, he mended relationships with our dealers, our suppliers and our employees, and set the stage for many of today's leaders who are moving us forward. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time."
Biography: Nick Scheele
Nick Scheele was president and chief operating officer, Ford Motor Company, from Oct. 30, 2001 until his retirement on Feb. 1, 2005.
Born Jan. 3, 1944, Scheele previously served as group vice president, Ford North America, a role he assumed in August 2001. He was chairman, Ford of Europe, from January 2000 through July 2001 and chairman and CEO of Jaguar Cars Ltd., from 1992 to 1999.
Scheele's career at Ford began in 1966. He served in several senior purchasing appointments in Ford's British and European Operations before moving to the U.S. in 1978. In 1988, Scheele became president of Ford of Mexico, where he directed Ford's manufacturing and marketing operations.
After retiring from Ford, Scheele served in several other leadership roles, including senior advisor to Crestview Partners, chairman of the board of Stackpole International, chairman of Key Safety Systems, chairman of Grupo Metalsa SA de CV, board member of British American Tobacco and board member of Reynolds American Inc.
Scheele was installed as chancellor at the University of Warwick in 2002. In 2003, he received an honorary degree from Durham University. He also served on the advisory boards of Coventry University and Durham University, as well the Fullbright Commission.
In June 2001, Scheele was awarded a knighthood – the Order of St. Michael and St. George – by Britain for services to British exports.
Scheele had a particular interest in the education of young people and was involved in several community projects. He was voted a lifetime member of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and chaired the United Way for Southeastern Michigan campaign in 2003.
He was born in Essex, England and was an accomplished linguist, speaking several European languages fluently. He is survived by his wife, Ros, and children Paul, Hannah, Jim and five grandchildren.