Key Ford Execs to Retire on April 1

Posted by at 9:49 am on February 9, 2012

Ford has announced the April 1 retirement of two senior officers: Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth and Derrick Kuzak who is group vice president of Global Product Development.

Ford’s board met Wednesday and approved the retirements as well as promotion of their successors: current Controller Bob Shanks, 59, to CFO while Raj Nair, 47, currently vice president of Engineering and Global Product Development, will take over Kuzak’s responsibilities. The board also elected a new director, Jon Huntsman Jr. joins immediately, bringing his experience as as a former Republican candidate for president of the United States, former governor of Utah and former ambassador to China.

Kuzak, 60, was a key figure in the development of the One Ford Plan of global development of vehicles that can be sold more cost-effectively in every region of the world.

Booth, 63, helped Ford divest itself of luxury brands including Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin as well as Volvo and most of Ford’s stake in Mazda.

Booth also was key in Ford’s decision to mortgage its assets in exchange for cash that allowed Ford to weather the downturn in 2008 and 2009 without financial assistance from the government or the need to file for bankruptcy.

In a conference call for press, Ford president Alan Mulally said both the men were exceptional leaders. When inquires were made as to the potential for his own successor, he said that he has no plans for retiring and that Ford has strong candidates for every position in the company, noting that “We take succession planning seriously.”

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