Investors who bet on Alan Mulally when he took over as Ford (F) Motor Co.’s chief executive officer in September 2006 beat the market during his tenure, which ended this week as the reins were handed to Mark Fields.
The CHART OF THE DAY compares Ford shares with those of Boeing Co., the airplane maker Mulally left after being passed over for the top executive job, and with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Also tracked is Procter & Gamble Co., whose top executive from 2009 to 2013, Bob McDonald, was nominated this week to become head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration.
Mulally, 68, led a turnaround at Ford, avoiding the bankruptcies and bailouts that befell the predecessors of General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC. He created a collaborative culture at a company known for infighting, gathering top executives for a mandatory meeting every Thursday morning, where they were required to hash out problems and find solutions together.
Under Mulally, Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford earned $42.3 billion in the last five years after losing $30.1 billion from 2006 to 2008. Surging sales of Escape sport-utility vehicles, F-Series pickups and Fusion sedans helped boost Ford’s U.S. sales 11 percent last year. In China, the world’s largest car market, Ford now outsells Toyota (7203) Motor Corp.
Mulally has declined to say what he’ll do in the future. People with knowledge of his plans have said he is lining up a corporate position, probably as a board member or chairman.
“I’m going to stay close to Ford going forward,” Mulally said in an interview with Bloomberg TV last month.
Shares of Ford, the world’s fifth-largest automaker based on sales in the trailing 12 months, are forecast to gain 9.1 percent in the next year, according to the average target-price forecast of analysts compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the second-lowest among the top five, with Toyota highest at 18 percent through July 2.