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Ford investor concerned with departures

Oct. 22, 2008 at 5:25 PM   |   Comments

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian is concerned high level departures at Ford Motor Co. signal trouble at the company, a source said.

Ford said the unanticipated resignation of Chief Financial Officer Don Leclair and the departures of board members John Bond and Jorma Ollila within a week thereafter were unrelated, The Detroit News reported Wednesday.

The official story is that Leclair left to spend time with his family and Bond and Ollila left to concentrate on other obligations.

Kerkorian's concerns may have led to his decision to sell 7.3 million of his 141 million Ford shares this week at a considerable loss. He has also signaled an interest in selling the remainder of his Ford shares.

Ford spokesman Mark Truby said the company would "stay focused on our plan," rather than concern itself with Kerkorian's investments, which amounted to 6.43 percent of the company.

But, ""Ford has lost a potential source of liquidity, someone who could write a check for a few billion if it needed the capital," bond analyst Shelly Lombard of Gimme Credit told the News.

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