US:Ford chief of international operations to retire
Ford chief of international operations to retire
No replacement for Mark Schulz named
Dale Jewett | Automotive News
Mark Schulz, head of international operations for Ford Motor Co., will retire early next year, the automaker said today.
Schulz, 54, heads the automaker’s businesses in Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific. No replacement was named today.
A Ford spokesman said Schulz will continue to oversee Ford’s international business until his departure. His direct reports include Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group boss Lewis Booth and Asia-Pacific boss John Parker.
His departure date is open-ended at this point. Schulz has indicated he will stay until a replacement is determined, the spokesman said.
A 36-year veteran of the company, Schulz got his start working on an assembly line.
He was considered a rival to Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas, for COO and a possible eventual replacement of Bill Ford as the automaker’s CEO. Ford hired former Boeing Co. executive Alan Mulally as CEO in September.
One explanation offered by a Ford insider for Schulz’s retirement is his brutal travel schedule and the toll it has taken.
Schulz is known as an engineer who has done well in several overseas assignments, including several years leading Turkish operations. He is considered a detail-oriented operations expert and is a close friend of Bill Ford’s who sometimes plays hockey with the chairman.
Schulz ran Ford’s Sheldon Road climate-control plant in Plymouth Township, Mich., at the same time that Bill Ford headed the climate-control division in the early 1990s.
But Schulz was described by company insiders as sometimes frustrated that Ford Motor hadn’t moved faster in Asia. He strongly advocated that the company expand its global vision.
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My next Ford.....