Mark Fields did everything right. He spent decades learning the business at Ford. He had every job imaginable. He was a loyal, hardworking executive.
The board elected him to replace Alan Mulally, maybe an impossible man to replace. While Fields was CEO, profits went up, and he renewed just about the entire vehicle lineup. Ford even switched its most important vehicle, the F-150, to an aluminum body. Everything was great, except that Wall Street didn’t like Fields. The stock price went way down while he was CEO. The board was unhappy, Fields was fired, and they picked a new CEO, someone known as a change agent.