DETROIT -- Mark Fields was once on the fastest of fast tracks at Ford Motor Co. He rose quickly through the executive ranks with stops at Mazda Motor Corp. in Japan and at Ford of Europe before landing at headquarters as president of the Americas in 2005.
And there he still sits.
In the middle of last decade, with industry sales sliding and Ford floundering, attempts by Fields and Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. to restructure the company weren't getting much traction. Bill Ford recruited Alan Mulally from Boeing Corp. to be CEO.
Mulally engineered a turnaround for Ford and dramatic changes in its formerly faction-ridden culture. But Mulally's presence in the CEO post has stymied, at least for now, Fields' rise within Ford.
Ford's board of directors hasn't set a date for Mulally's departure. Indeed, Bill Ford has indicated that Mulally can remain CEO as long as he likes.
Fields, 51, has held the president of the Americas job for seven years, by far his longest stay in any job since he came to Ford in 1989 as a freshly minted Harvard M.B.A. His longest previous stint was three years in London as executive vice president in charge of Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group.