Among Ford insiders there is great hope that Mark Fields will turn out to be The One.
You know, the guy who can fix North America then slide into the CEOs chair when Bill Ford is ready to relinquish it.
When the next restructuring shoe drops on Jan. 23, well see who his teammates are on the Way Forward. But with the latest round of executive churn erasing yet another group of Ford veterans, the company may need some additional experienced managerial talent.
Why not ask Edsel Ford to come back for a while?
It worked when Alan Gilmour came back to lend a hand, didnt it?
At 57, Edsel Ford II is a busy guy.
Since he retired as an employee seven years ago, Edsel Ford has been actively involved in a number of charities and has become a local asset in Detroit as a civic leader.
Like Gilmour, who is a car dealer, Edsel Ford is a successful businessman. He owns Pentastar Aviation, which he bought coincidentally two days after Jacques Nasser was fired as Ford Motor CEO in October 2001. He was CEO of Pentastar Aviation until last August when he handed off the job.
Edsel Ford may be busy, but Ford Motor Co. is still his company. He was an employee for a quarter of a century, has been a director since 1988 and as shareholder he has a big stake in the family business.
But more importantly, he could contribute to the companys turnaround effort. He has been around long enough to understand the companys strengths and weaknesses and its heritage.
Edsel Ford knows the retail side of the business, having worked in sales, marketing and was COO of Ford Credit. More importantly, he's well-liked and trusted by Ford dealers. That's no small thing.
That could be very useful because the troubled retail end of the business is where the next round of executive churn seems to be centered.
Every family has its squabbles and issues. But with the shape Ford Motor Co. is in, it makes sense for every able-bodied family member to pitch in, doesnt it?
You may e-mail Edward Lapham at [email protected]