Ford Motor names Padilla president

Dec. 9, 2004 at 5:17 PM
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DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co. Thursday named Chief Executive Officer Jim Padilla president to succeed Nick Scheele, who is retiring in February.

Vice Chairman Allan Gilmour will also retire in February, the automaker announced.

Padilla, 58, was appointed Ford's CEO and chairman of Ford Automotive Operations in April. Scheele, 60, will have spent 38 years at Ford when he steps down next year. Padilla also was elected to the No. 2 automaker's board of directors.

"Jim is a results-driven individual who attracts and empowers the kind of Ford executives we want leading this company," said Ford Chairman Bill Ford, who took over as chief executive officer to lead Ford's turnaround in 2001. Ford laid off 35,000 employees and eliminated $6.4 billion in red ink to return to profitability.

"He's the right man for the job, and the right man to ensure that in this extremely competitive automobile business the Ford Motor Company remains focused on what it needs to do to succeed," said Ford.

Chief Financial Officer Don Leclair, 52, was named executive vice president and will take over Ford Motor Credit and the General Auditors Office Jan. 1.

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