After short list, a short stay for Laymon

Joe Laymon
Ford personnel chief Joe Laymon created a firestorm when he disclosed to Automotive News the automaker's short list of internal candidates to eventually replace CEO Alan Mulally. But Laymon didn't hang around to deal with the aftermath.

Laymon's resignation from Ford was announced one day after Automotive News published the CEO candidate list in its March 24 issue. Laymon, 55, will head human resources at Chevron Corp., an offer he says he was considering before the interview.

Public disclosure of CEO candidates is virtually unheard of in the personality-driven auto industry. But Laymon told Automotive News after his resignation that he was "at peace" with giving the interview and wanted to show that Ford had a deep bench.

Mulally told Automotive News last week that he was "a little surprised" that Laymon disclosed the list. But both Mulally and Laymon said the disclosure had nothing to do with Laymon's departure.

So what might have swayed Laymon to leave for Chevron? Well, Chevron earned more than $35 billion during the past two years, compared with a loss of more than $15 billion by Ford during the same period. Oil-boom profits probably make for a brighter workplace.

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