When 'Bolshevik' Bill Ford talked green, company execs saw a Red
Ford: It's good to be a scion.
Ford Chairman Bill Ford has long supported environmental causes. That's popular today, but it didn't go over well with senior execs when he joined the company out of Princeton in 1979.
In fact, Ford said he might not have survived if he hadn't been a member of the founding family. Ford bosses then didn't have much time for tree huggers.
"They thought I was a Bolshevik," Bill Ford said at a recent press event. There was so much antagonism, in fact, that the young scion briefly pondered a non-Ford career.
He says resistance didn't completely disappear until Alan Mulally arrived as CEO in 2006. The surge in fuel prices a couple of years later also helped change thinking inside the company.
Smaller, more efficient engines are one example of the new approach. For example, the redesigned Ford F-150 is available with a V-6 EcoBoost engine, which has turbocharging and direct injection. And the Explorer is offered with a four-cylinder EcoBoost.
Bill Ford says the times have caught up with his beliefs. But, he says, if not for "my last name," he might not have been able to stick around to see it happen: "I didn't get canned, which could have easily happened."