Blog: Dave LeggettFord's Fields and Leach

Dave Leggett | 29 July 2003

Is Fiat Auto's CEO, Giancarlo Boschetti, about to be replaced? Could be. He's not far off retirement and there will be some who would like to see the reinvigorative impact on the company of a new face at the top, as the recovery plan gets underway. But in terms of Fiat Auto's problems, the die was cast before he took over, so it would be a little unfair to put the blame at his door. Two relatively young guys at Ford seem to be in the frame for top jobs right now - PAG's Mark Fields and Ford of Europe's Martin Leach. They could be in competition for the Ford of Europe/PAG 'czar' position in the speculated reorganisation. But at their level there could be other opportunities in other companies to consider. It must be a little bit like being a top footballer, constantly being linked with possible moves to other top clubs. Taking the analogy further I wonder which carmaker qualifies as the auto industry equivalent of the mighty Real Madrid in Europe? It is, I believe, the biggest team in Europe financially as well as the most successful on the pitch. It is also the team everyone wants to play for and nobody wants to move from.

Getting back to Fiat Auto, it'd be a brave person who'd take that one on. Thick-skinned executive with experience as a shrewd political operator and a proven record in turning desperate situations around, as well as a healthy appetite for a challenge, sought. My guess is that Fields and Leach are very happy at Ford, for now.


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