So how is an outsider like Alan Mulally finding solutions? And why does he seem to be enjoying himself? He is very driven.
Nine years and 10 months ago, Alan Mulally was an aerospace executive whom almost nobody east of Seattle had ever heard of. Next month, he'll enter the Automotive Hall of Fame. Pretty neat company, as the folksy Kansan might say. Mulally landed in Detroit seemingly out of nowhere one September afternoon, in a cloud of doubts that someone who adorned his signature with a smiling cartoon plane could pull Ford Motor Co.
Within 90 days, the affable newcomer had mortgaged everything Ford had, all the way up to the sacred Blue Oval.
It was a massive gamble that ultimately cemented him as Ford's savior after the economy fell into recession. Record North American profits in three of the past four quarters have validated his decision to sign off on an aluminum-bodied overhaul for Ford's franchise vehicle, the F Employees still carry the cheesy-sounding "One Ford" cards he distributed to help quash a destructive culture of infighting.
He understood that the coach leader is the more effective leader than the king leader. In every discussion I had with Alan, it was never about him.
Executive Chairman Bill Ford wanted Mulally to stay on the board of directors, Cole said, but Mulally preferred a clean break to allow free reign for his successor, Mark Fields. Since then, Mulally has joined the boards of directors at Google's parent, Alphabet Inc.
In April, he began a fellowship with Seattle University's business school, where he'll share leadership strategies with students and faculty. He has been able to spend more time with his family and improve his golf game in retirement, dividing his time among Washington, Arizona and Georgia, said Joe Laymon, a former Ford executive who has stayed in touch with Mulally.
Passed over The Mulally era, a span of 2, days, might not have happened but for Ford's fortunes crumbling at exactly the right time. Back inMulally had just been passed over twice in two years for the top job at Boeing as Ford began careening toward its biggest annual loss ever: Bill Ford decided the best prescription for his family's company was for him to stop being its CEO, and Laymon credits board member John Thornton for suggesting Mulally, who was then head of Boeing's commercial airliner division.
The list of candidates also included automotive veterans Carlos Ghosn, Dieter Zetsche and Wolfgang Bernhard, said Laymon, who was Ford's human resources chief at the time. But when they either turned down the job or didn't seem like the right fit -- Laymon wouldn't say who got crossed off for what reason -- the focus turned to Mulally.
And it became Laymon's job to go get him, heading a roller coaster of a recruitment that saw Mulally accept, back out and then change his mind yet again. By the time GM and Chrysler were tottering into bankruptcy, Ford's resurgence was well underway -- funded by the credit line that Mulally called "the world's largest home-improvement loan.
Had that not happened, we would not gotten him. He got rid of all the fiefdoms and all the princes and got everybody working together. Mulally visited Village Ford to interview Seavitt about the company's problems and spent a few hours talking to customers in the showroom.
He helped close seven sales. He doesn't get that line of questioning anymore. It's important to people's lives.
It's important to industry in the United States. To be able to help is pretty neat.After Alan Mulally became president and CEO of Ford in , the company eliminated all meetings that were considered unnecessary and shortened those that were unduly long.
It also instituted a weekly session called the Business Plan Review (BPR), a focused four- to five-hour meeting for senior executives to set strategy and review performance.
Employee Involvement at the Business Plan Review Meetings Mulally said that senior leaders make their presentations from wherever they are in the world via video conferencing.
The people who sit in the room for those presentations are employees chosen by their division presidents to participate that week! Mulally's high concern for his subordinates is best illustrated during his time at Ford Motor Company when he enacted the weekly briefing sessions known as the weekly Business Plan Reviews.
It was during these meetings where he could gather key leadership to . At Ford they have a BPR or Business Plan Review meeting every week that every business leader and functional leader attends either personally or remotely. The global business environment and related topics like economy, labor, energy and technology sectors, demographic trends and the shape and size of competition are talked of at the meeting.
Upon realization, Mulally instated his "business plan review" (BPR). This was a meeting with senior executive, every week on the same day and same time.
Each is required to report progress. One of Mulally's early moves was to initiate a weekly Business Plan Review, where Ford's senior executives meet to review the previous week's performance numbers.
From the start, Mulally required.