Finance and the environment.
Those are the board committees Bill Ford runs. His choice says much about the first family member destined to sit in the chairman's seat since his uncle, Henry Ford II, retired in 1980.
William Clay Ford Jr., 41, has served on the company's finance staff since 1985. He has been chairman of the board's powerful finance committee since 1994.
He is also chairman of Ford's Environmental and Public Policy Committee, and he created the Ford Environmental Outreach and Strategy Department to coordinate Ford's clean manufacturing and recycling efforts.
In a speech to fellow auto executives last year, he broke ranks with the industry. He chided the auto industry for ignoring scientists' warnings about global warning. He called it a threat 'real enough so that we all ought to be concerned.'
Ford is an avid outdoorsman. He hunts and he fishes and cruises through his residential neighborhood in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, on in-line skates.
Ford joined the company in 1979. Since then, his rise has given him the chance to impress his passions on company policy.
In 1986, after a brief stint at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to brush up his finance skills, he was appointed director of Commercial Vehicle Marketing for Ford of Europe, then elected chairman and managing director of Ford Switzerland in 1987.
A year later he was elected to the corporate board of directors and returned to Dearborn assigned to Ford Truck Operations.
He was named director of Business Strategy for the Ford Automotive Group in March 1990, and he became its executive director a year later. His last title before assuming the finance committee chairmanship in 1994 was vice president overseeing Ford's Commercial Truck Vehicle Center.