Currently COO, Mark Fields has long been tipped to succeed Alan Mulally as CEO of Ford

Currently COO, Mark Fields has long been tipped to succeed Alan Mulally as CEO of Ford

Ford will soon name Mark Fields its next chief executive officer and reveal when current CEO Alan Mulally will retire from the company, according to a media report.

Bloomberg News cited two people familiar with the pending announcement as saying Mulally, 68, will step down before the end of the year and be succeeded by Fields, 53, currently chief operating officer.

Mulally, formerly head of Boeing, is credited with saving Ford from bankruptcy when the economic crisis hit.

Rumours have been circulating for many months that Fields was being lined up as successor to Mulally who avoided Ford's bankruptcy by taking on what many saw as a risky US$23bn loan. He signed off on the loan shortly after arriving from Boeing in 2006 and turned around the automaker by slashing costs and overhauling its line-up.