Ford is seeking a replacement for chief financial officer Allan Gilmour seven months after he came out of retirement to take the job, Reuters reported, citing a Financial Times story this week.

However, Reuters noted that Gilmour was not expected to leave the company soon and would first groom a successor who would work under him for a period before Gilmour moved into an advisory role.

Industry analysts told Reuters that an absence of denials by Ford spokesmen appeared to lend the story credence.

"I would expect that that's been the plan all along," a Wall Street analyst told Reuters, referring to what is now expected to be Gilmour's brief reign over Ford finances.

"He's not like Bob Lutz who's been saying that he'd stay for a long time," the analyst also told Reuters, referring to the recent return from retirement of Lutz, the Detroit automotive icon and product czar at General Motors.

Reuters said Gilmour, 68, was asked to come back by Ford chairman and chief executive Bill Ford Jr. to help implement the company's turnaround plan after a loss of $US5.45 billion last year.

Though essentially neutral in terms of the Wall Street view of Ford's turnaround efforts, and well within expectations, Gilmour's likely departure from the company in the new year was somewhat unsettling, analysts told Reuters.

"I don't think that they can keep changing horses," one analyst told Reuters, referring to a rash of senior management changes since former chief executive Jacques Nasser was ousted in October 2001.