DETROIT, April 26 (UPI) -- Former Ford chief Alex J. Trotman, who helped make the U.S. automaker the most profitable in his times, has died in Yorkshire, England, at age 71.
The English-born, Scottish-educated Trotman died at home Monday after a brief illness, the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday.
Trotman was at the Ford helm from 1993 through 1998 and presided over a tumultuous reorganization and the ascension of Bill Ford Jr. to become the most powerful member of the automaker's ruling family.
In 1997, Ford earned nearly $7 billion, more than any automaker had earned that year. Trotman also helped pick Jacques Nasser as chief executive officer and Bill Ford as chairman.
"Alex was a great friend, colleague and leader of the extended family of Ford employees around the world," Bill Ford said in a statement.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 1996 and he acquired the title of Lord Trotman of Osmotherly in 1999.
He is survived by his wife, Valerie, and four children.