DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. will soon name Mark Fields its next chief executive officer and reveal when current CEO Alan Mulally will retire from the company he is credited with saving, two people familiar with the pending announcement told Bloomberg.
Mulally, 68, will follow through with plans to step down before the end of the year and be succeeded by Fields, 53, now chief operating officer, according to the people, who asked not to be identified revealing internal plans. The company may announce the moves as soon as May 1, the people said.
Fields ran Ford's Premier Automotive Group from 2002 to 2005, which then included brands such as Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo. He emerged as Mulally’s likely successor when he was promoted to COO in December 2012.
The transition will bring an end to a storied chapter in Ford’s history, in which the automaker narrowly avoided bankruptcy thanks to Mulally’s management and a bet-the-business $23 billion loan. Mulally signed off on the loan shortly after arriving from Boeing Co. in 2006 and turned around the automaker by slashing costs and overhauling its lineup.
“A lot of great CEOs leave and then there’s chaos behind them,” Executive Chairman Bill Ford, great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, said April 16 on Bloomberg TV. “Alan and I have talked about that -- the importance of the final act of a great CEO is having a great transition.”