Blog: Dave LeggettFord goings on

Dave Leggett | 6 September 2006

Things seem to be moving rapidly at Ford Motor Company these days. One minute Jag is tipped to be off, packaged with LR, and the next minute Aston Martin is offered up on a plate and suddenly Volvo looks more likely to be discarded. The media speculation is, frankly, all over the place.

Is Ford rebalancing the business, looking for added focus, or looking for cash?

Behind the scenes, a man from Goldmans is checking the balance sheet, advising on silverware that can go, and Mark Fields is trying to get a handle on Ford's North American problems while under constant pressure to speed restructuring up (not easy!). 

And now Bill Ford - the man who boldly proclaimed he would get a grip as Chairman and CEO when Jacques Nasser was booted out - has apparently recognised that someone else would be better to take the CEO reins. He dropped about as heavy a hint that someone might come in to do his job as I've ever heard in that interview earlier this week.

Fair play Bill. It reminds me of the occasion a few years ago when England football coach Kevin Keegan resigned and told the assembled media circus that he simply wasn't up to the job. This isn't quite in that league, but it's similar and, in a way, it takes guts to back off the way Bill Ford has. More arrogant people often cause greater damage in the long run.

It could yet be an inspired move if Mulally can transfer his relevant experience to the problems afflicting Ford. Perhaps Bill Ford will be able to play a properly supportive role as 'executive chairman'. Just to get out of the hot seat may be good for him.

I wonder what a certain Carlos Ghosn makes of it all?

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