LONDON -- Former Ford of Europe chairman David Thursfield, who retired in April, has signed a $900,000 (E728,000) consulting contract with his former company.
Thursfield will consult for Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. on issues including Team Value Manage-ment, international strategy and manufacturing issues during the two-year contract.
Thursfield, who had worked for 25 years for Ford, was the company's chief of international operations and global purchasing. He also served as chairman of Ford of Europe and led a restructuring of that unit.
Thursfield earned a reputation as a hard-nosed cost-cutter whose abrasive style upset some parts suppliers.
Thursfield was even known as LaCoste among some suppliers, a reference to the crocodile used by the LaCoste fashion brand.
Thursfield's Team Value Manage-ment cost-cutting initiative was designed to get Ford to work closely with its suppliers to find cost savings.
However, many suppliers say the program requires them to make all the sacrifices.
Team Value Management contributed half of the $3.2 billion in corporate cost cutting reported by Ford last year.