Mulally to Remain Ford CEO Until End of 2014, Denies Early Departure


Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) CEO Alan Mulally denied reports that he will step down from his position earlier than planned. He said he will lead the automaker until  end of 2014.

Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) will possibly step down from his position earlier than planned as he explores other roles, according to report from Reuters based on information obtained from individuals knowledgeable about the issue.

According to sources, the board of Ford is open to let him vacate his position earlier. They also said that Mulally once discussed a position in the Obama Administration, and he is considering another high profile job.

Based on Ford’s succession plan, Mulally is expected to lead the second largest automaker in the United States until the end of 2014. He is widely recognized for successfully reviving the automakers profitability and saving it from bankruptcy.

Ford’s spokesperson, Jay Cooney dismissed reports regarding Mulally’s possible earlier departure. He said, “There is no change from what we announced in November: Alan Mulally plans to continue to serve as Ford’s president and CEO through at least 2014.”

When asked about his plans, Mulally wrote in an e-mail to Reuters on Thursday that he is “absolutely focused on serving Ford.” He added, “We are having so much fun creating an exciting, sustainable, and profitably growing Ford for everyone.”

Mulally also told Bloomberg that he plans to continue to lead Ford at least until the end of 2014. He added that he is “absolutely laser focused” on earnings growth and emphasized that he “love serving Ford and will continue serving Ford.”

In May 2012, the automaker recovered control of all the assets it put up as collateral when it borrowed $23.4 billion in 2006 to avoid bankruptcy. At present, Ford is focused on stopping its losses from its business operations in Europe by closing three plants by the end of 2014. The company projected to incur $1.8 billion losses in Europe and to break even in 2015.

There were speculations that Mulally might succeed Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) who will be retiring over the next 12 months. Mulally is providing advice to Ballmer on business transformation.

Ford and Microsoft collaborated in developing the automaker’s Sync system. In November, last year, the companies celebrated their five years in-vehicle technology partnership. At that time, Ford already sold 5 million Sync-equipped vehicles.