Blog: Dave LeggettAngrified Martin Leach

Dave Leggett | 19 November 2003

I'm not sitting here in possession of all the facts concerning Martin Leach's departure from Ford, but the bare facts and the things that I have heard as part of industry tittle-tattle lead me to believe that he at least has a case in feeling 'hard done by'. Firstly, he's taken the fall for Ford of Europe's profits collapse and there are good grounds for saying that he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time - the seeds of Ford's decline were sown earlier. And it sounds as if some people in the company (and one in particular) were giving him a pretty hard time - if the stories doing the rounds of journalists are anything to go by. So, he could reasonably have concluded that his future at Ford didn't look too great, for largely political reasons. It is at least arguable that he was manoeuvered into resigning (and that is reinforced by what I hear of events within Ford just before the resignation itself). Fiat Auto expressed interest and that was where he wanted to go. Then Ford played hardball over his contract's non-compete clause and that option was abruptly closed off. Maybe he had some duff legal advice or maybe he thought Ford, having treated him badly, would let it go. And did Leach get the sort of settlement that some other notable leavers have got in recent years? I don't think so. (Ever wondered why Nasser is so quiet? - he was very well paid off with shares, that's why). Hard done by and a little angrified? I should co-co.


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