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Ford replaces two executives smoothly

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Ford replaces two executives smoothly
The Ford logo is seen at the company's display during the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place on February 9, 2012 in Chicago. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. said Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth and group Vice President for Product Development Derrick Kuzak will retire April 1.

Booth will be replaced by Bob Shanks, who works with Ford's president of the Americas Mark Fields, and Kuzak will be replaced by Raj Nair, the firm's head of engineering, The Detroit News reported Friday.

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"Don't you love an orderly succession plan at Ford Motor Co.?" Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said.

"Ford has always attracted the best talent. That's probably the most stable team in the industry," of the company, Mulally said.

"The game goes on, and … one of the marks of a successful team is you find replacements," said David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Ann Arbor-based Center for Automotive Research.

In contrast with the firm's history before Mulally became CEO in 2006, executive transitions are now comparatively orderly and smooth, Cole said.

But the new team has big shoes to fill, one executive said.

"Internally, these guys were big, big players … very well-respected. Lewis is loved all the company over, and Derrick may be the most respected executive we have, top to bottom," said the unnamed executive.

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