Nasser out; Bill Ford takes over

Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. will replace Jacques Nasser as chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co.

The company will announce on Tuesday, Oct. 30, that Nasser, 53, will leave the company, Automotive News has learned.

In addition, Nick Scheele, 57, currently group vice president for North America, will become chief operating officer of Ford Motor. Jim Padilla, 55,group vice president for manufacturing and quality, will take over Scheele's job as head of North America. Scheele recently moved to North America after a brief stint as head of Ford Europe.

Scheele, an Englishman, and Padilla worked together to revive Jaguar in the 1990s.

Ford will announce additional management changes Tuesday, sources said.

Carl Reichardt, 70, will be named vice chairman. Reichardt, a Ford board member since 1986, is the retired chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo & Co., San Francisco.

David L. Murphy, 55, Ford vice president of human resources, will leave the company.

Bill Ford, 44, started taking more operational control of the company in July, when the board created the Office of the Chairman and CEO. He and Nasser met regularly to review company operations.

For some weeks, Ford Motor had been looking outside for a successor to Nasser, who had been under pressure for months for Ford's loss of market share and tumbling profitability.The financially troubled company is preparing a turnaround plan, which will be revealed in December.

A handful of top industry executives had been contacted about the job of CEO.

Bill Ford Jr. worked for the company for several years until he resigned in 1995 to assume the chairmanship of the board of directors' finance committee. He represented the Ford family's interest on the board. He became board chairman in January 1999 when Alex Trotman retired as chairman

and CEO, while Nasser, born in Lebanon and raised in Australia, was named president and CEO.

Bill Ford is known primarily for his commitment to the environment, and his pledge to make Ford Motor Co. a leader in environmental protection.

Bill Ford is the son of William Clay Ford Sr., who is a grandson of company founder Henry Ford and brother of former chairman and CEO the late Henry Ford II.

The move returns the CEO's job to a Ford family member for the first time since Henry Ford II ran the company. Henry Ford II resigned as CEO in 1979.

Together, William Clay Ford senior and junior also run the Detroit Lions football team.

You can reach Charles Child at (Unknown address)

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