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Alan Mulally, who was hired as CEO of Ford in September 2006, had not engineered, designed, or built any cars. He came from Boeing. After joining Ford, he devised a plan that identified specific goals for the company, created a process that moved it toward those goals, and installed a management system to make sure the company reaches those goals. Mulally demands weekly, sometimes daily, updates. “Alan's style is pretty relentless,” says chief financial officer Lewis Booth, a 31-year Ford veteran. “He says, ‘If this is the reality, what are we going to do about it?' not ‘We're going to work our way through it.'”

Mulally's leadership has resulted in Ford making some strategic moves. When Mulally arrived in September 2006, Ford was known
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He has promised that Ford's core North American operations, as well as the entire company, will be profitable by 2011. It had better, because it can't keep losing money indefinitely while GM and Chrysler/Fiat recover with the help of loans from the federal government. Ford recorded a loss of $14.7 billion in 2008 and another $1.4 billion in 2009's first quarter. If the U.S. and other global economies continue to slump, Ford's survival could be in question. “The test of Ford's profitability will be how low vehicle sales go this year, when they recover, and what levels they recover to in 2010 and 2011,” notes analyst Shelly Lombard of Gimme Credit.

If the economy recovers in 2010, Ford will be in a good competitive position. To meet stricter government fuel-economy standards, it is introducing a line of more efficient cars such as the Ford Fusion, Focus, and Fiesta. It will start manufacturing electric cars in 2010. Mulally hopes that Ford will be able to take business from GM and Chrysler/Fiat. Goldman Sachs' Patrick Archambault sees Ford picking up 25 percent of the sales the two competitors have lost, the equivalent of 1.4 points of market share.

So how does an industry outsider like Mulally come into a company as large as Ford—with its 205,000 employees, multiple Back to Top [View PDF] P. 543 [Click here to add Bookmark] [Click here to remove

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