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Ford chairman confident in executive team

  |   Nov. 3, 2012 at 1:54 PM
DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Mark Fields has been named chief of operations at Ford Motor Co., apparently putting him in line to succeed Alan Mulally as chief executive officer.

Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said the U.S. automaker's executive team is in good shape -- and no one is looking over their shoulder.

"I'm very comfortable with the team we have put together," Ford said in a video presentation to explain the recent promotions.

Fields, 51, is being promoted from North America president to chief operating officer, a position that has not been filled since Alan Mulally took over as CEO in 2006. The promotion is generally seen as a clear indication Fields has been chosen to take over when Mulally retires.

Mulally is 67 and set to retire sometime after 2014, The Detroit News reported Saturday.

"The culture that exists here at Ford today is so different and so much healthier [than prior to 2006]. People just enjoy it and nobody wants to go back," Ford said.

Ford this week announced profits of $1.6 billion in the third quarter, despite losses in Europe. The profits included $2.2 billion earned in North America, which has been Fields' turf.

The company said it was moving Joe Hinrichs from the top job in the Asian market to take over Fields' North American post. Stephen Odell, president of Ford Europe, is taking over Ford's Africa and Middle East territory, a move that allows Ford Motor China Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dave Schoch to concentrate exclusively on the Asian market, the newspaper said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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