DEARBORN (WWJ) – Ford is losing two top executives, but the company’s CEO says he isn’t going anywhere.
Alan Mulally announced Thursday that product development chief Derrick Kuzak and CFO Lewis Booth will retire as of April 1, 2012. That brought up questions about Mulally’s future.
“I read the news release very carefully and I did not find my name in it, and as I’ve shared with everyone in the past, I have no plans to retire and I’m absolutely thrilled and honored to continue to serve Ford.”
Mulally is 66, and both Kuzak and Booth had been mentioned in speculation about possible successors.
The retirement of the two top execs was finalized at a Wednesday meeting of Ford’s board of directors. Mulally said the timing worked well for all involved.
Kuzak will be replaced by Raj Nair, currently in charge of engineering at Ford. Booth’s replacement is Bob Shanks, currently the company’s controller.
Both men are long time Ford executives.
“Bob Shanks is 59-years-old with 35 years with Ford and Raj 47-years-old and 25 years with Ford and multiple assignments around the world. So, we’re just very pleased to be able to have such a strong bench,” said Mulally.
The Ford CEO telling reporters that it was important to promote from within.
“It’s just an important part of the Ford plan that we continue to develop a very stong bench of very, very capable experienced leaders in every position.”
Mulally also announced Thursday morning that former Utah Governor and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman had been elected to the Ford Board of Directors.