2010 Automotive News All-Stars

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FINANCE: Lewis Booth

CFO, Ford Motor Co.

No Chapter 11 -- but lots of debt: Unlike its crosstown rivals, Ford avoided a trip to U.S. Bankruptcy Court in 2009. The company did so by pre-emptively borrowing $23 billion against its assets. Ford didn't expect to make a profit until 2011 but beat that target when it earned $2.1 billion in the first quarter of 2010. "It would be unwise to think of $2 billion as a running rate," Booth cautioned in late April, citing the cost of launching new products. Beyond the product offensive, Booth, 61, knows the company faces another challenge: whittling down debt that totals $27 billion even after Ford trimmed that by more than $7 billion in the second quarter. Ford's competitors, which shed debt while in Chapter 11, don't carry that burden.

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