How Ford Helped Mark Fields Win

Ford COO Mark Fields sits at a press conference at Ford World Headquarters on May 1 in Dearborn, Michigan Photograph by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

In some respects, the new chief executive officers of Ford and General Motors have followed strikingly similar life scripts. Like GM’s Mary Barra, incoming Ford chief Mark Fields is an auto industry veteran and company insider. Both leaders were born in 1961 and hold MBA degrees from top-tier business schools (Barra from Stanford; Fields from Harvard). They were raised in modest, middle-class families and had a slew of visible successes prior to being named CEO.

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