Ford Motor Company has just announced that current president and CEO Alan Mulally has decided to retire effective July 1 crushing conjecture as to whether or not he’ll continue to serve under the same capacity or move elsewhere. 

Mark Fields has been named as his successor and will take the position of president and CEO starting July after being Ford’s chief operating officer since December 2012.  Fields has been in charge of Ford’s global business operations and most skill teams, including product development, manufacturing, purchasing, and marketing, sales and service.

“From the first day we discussed Ford’s transformation eight years ago, Alan and I agreed that developing the next generation of leaders and ensuring an orderly CEO succession were among our highest priorities.  Mark has transformed several of our operations around the world into much stronger businesses during his 25 years at Ford. Now, Mark is ready to lead our company into the future as CEO,” said Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

Mulally now 68 years old, retires after eight years leading Ford back to being ‘one of the world’s leading global automakers.’  Mulally is the mastermind behind the company’s ingenious One Ford plan allowing them to achieve 19 consecutive quarters of profitability.  Under his leadership, Ford has been able to develop the strongest product lineup in the company’s history and are in the midst of the most ambitious global expansion in the past half century.

“Alan deservedly will be long remembered for engineering one of the most successful business turnarounds in history.  Under Alan’s leadership, Ford not only survived the global economic crisis, it emerged as one of the world’s strongest auto companies. We always will be grateful to Alan for his leadership, compelling vision and for fostering a culture of working together that will serve our company for decades to come,” said Bill Ford.

“It has been an honor to serve and contribute to creating a viable, profitably growing company for the good of everyone associated with the Ford Motor Company.  By working together with all of our stakeholders around the world, we now are accelerating Henry Ford’s original vision to open the highways to all mankind.  Ford’s future is so bright, and Mark – supported by an experienced and dedicated senior leadership team – is absolutely the right leader to continue to deliver on our compelling vision,” said Alan Mulally.

“It is a true honor to lead this great company and this talented team into the future.  Under Alan’s leadership, we have seen the power of One Ford and what a culture of positive leadership and working together can accomplish. My commitment is to build on that success by accelerating our pace of progress. All of us at Ford are committed to delivering even more of the great products and innovations that will deliver growth and define our company going forward,” said Mark Fields.