In an apparent move to dispel recent rumours of friction between its two most senior executives, Ford today announced the formation of the Office of the Chairman and CEO which, the company said in a statement, "formalises the ongoing working relationship between Bill Ford and Jacques Nasser that has been developing since their appointments in January 1999".

The office will consist of William Clay Ford, Jr., chairman, and Jacques Nasser, president and CEO, and will focus on policy, strategy, key issues affecting the future direction of the company and other major business issues, the statement said.

Strategic Review-


It added that the new structure will streamline the management process and improve decision-making efficiency, giving the Chairman and CEO a formal opportunity for an earlier review in policy, strategy and business proposals and allowing the CEO to access input and views at an earlier stage in the development process.

"We face challenging times and this new structure allows both Jacques and me to work hand-in-hand to lead the company forward and meet these challenges," Bill Ford said.

"We will continue to work together to maintain our strong position in the marketplace."

"Bill and I are both looking forward to continuing to provide the strategic direction for the company in every key area of the business," Nasser added.

"This new office strengthens our working relationship and allows us to react even more quickly to address the key issues facing the business."

The Ford statement said that the two men will meet regularly, have decision-making authority and invite other members of senior management to attend to discuss issues as needed.

The new structure was approved by the Board of Directors and is effective immediately.

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