Ford, Mulally, and Ford. Unlike the Three Musketeers, in this case it's all for two -- Bill Ford, Jr. and Alan Mulally -- and those two for one: Ford Motor Company. An eye-opening article called "Driven to the Brink" in the first issue of Portfolio magazine features a lengthy look at Ford and an interview with Bill Ford, Jr. on what he's been through, where the company is, and where he has to make sure it goes.
The initial numbers are staggering: a $12.7 billion loss in 2006, more than 38,000 jobs gone, a dozen plants shuttered, and of course, the $28 million paid to Mulally. Behind those numbers are others: $23 billion to finance a 2-year restructuring, $17 billion in expenditures over the next two years, nine more plant closures, 70% of all models new or improved by 2009. And behind those numbers is the scion held responsible for an American institution who wanted to create an environmentally responsible company before he was forced to, who had to fight his own company bureaucracy, and who, when turned down by Mulally the first time, said he was "silent and devastated. I had no Plan B." The quote about selling the company that some outlets attribute to Ford wasn't actually spoken by him (that was actually his former chief of staff), but on the subject of the future, he did admit, "We felt the best thing we could do was get our house in order. That doesn't preclude anything down the road."
The article dangles a number of fascinating possibilities. No matter what happens now, though, the company and the family are all in: to get the company that restructuring loan, Ford mortgaged absolutely everything -- even its own logo. As Anne Ford said, "If we lose, we lose everything." You can read the full article here.
[Source: eGM Car Tech]