CONGRATS To Mark Fields On His Newly found Appointment As COO of the Ford Motor Company Americas Unit, which puts him Directly in line to become the Next Big Guy at Ford, The CEO!!! Right now the Big Guy is Alan Mulally, and Mr. Mulally will continue to be the CEO at least until 2014, and when ever he does step down, Mr. Fields Will continue to take the Ford Motor Company forward!!! Hit the Jump for the Full Story!!!!

Funk Flex

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. appointed Mark Fields, president of the Americas unit, as COO, putting him in line to succeed Alan Mulally when he retires no sooner than the end of 2014.

The appointment of Fields, 51, was part of a sweeping overhaul of Ford’s executive ranks unveiled today. Speculation about Fields’ possible appointment has been ongoing for several weeks. Mulally is 67.

Said Mulally during a conference call this morning: “Mark is going to take over responsibility of leading the business plan review for the entire corporation. I’m going to step back from that to further advance the strategic issues of improving the One Ford plan.”

The business plan review is the weekly Thursday meeting that brings the leaders of all Ford’s business units together.

Meanwhile, Joe Hinrichs, 45, currently group vice president and head of Asia Pacific Africa, will succeed Fields as president of the America. Hinrichs currently is president of the Asia Pacific Africa region.

These other moves also take effect Dec. 1:

• Jim Farley, 50, becomes executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service as well as Lincoln. Farley, currently a group vice president, adds operating responsibility as the senior global leader for Lincoln.

• Stephen Odell, 57, will be president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. He is currently group vice president of Ford of Europe. Africa is being realigned with Europe and the Middle East under Odell.

• David Schoch becomes president of Asia Pacific. He is currently chairman and CEO of Ford of China.

• John Lawler becomes chairman and CEO of the China unit. He is currently CFO of Ford Asia Pacific Africa.

“The strength of our people and stability of our team are competitive advantages for Ford,” Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in the company statement. “We are fortunate to have Alan’s continued leadership as well as talented senior leaders throughout our company who are developing and working together and delivering on our plan.”

Praise for Fields

Fields has earned praise for leading Ford’s North American unit from record losses four years ago to record profits this year. On Tuesday, Ford’s North American unit reported its highest third quarter pre-tax profit and operating margin since 2000, when the company began reporting the region as a separate business unit.

“Mark Fields has proved his worth and proved that he has substance,” Rebecca Lindland, an analyst for consultant IHS Automotive, said in September. “This is somebody who has been in the trenches, who was there before Mulally and will be there after. He can bridge the two worlds and continue the cultural change.”

Fields won early praise from Mulally for going against Ford’s culture of hiding bad news by becoming the first executive to admit a problem to the new boss. Shortly after arriving from Boeing Co. in September 2006, Mulally instituted a Thursday morning meeting where his top executives are required to report on their initiatives using a green, yellow and red color code to indicate progress, caution and a problem.

Fields was the first to put up a red light because a balky tailgate latch had halted production of the Edge SUV. Mulally, frustrated no one was reporting problems even though Ford was losing $17 billion in its automotive operations that year, began applauding when Fields revealed his red light.

“Great visibility, Mark,” Mulally recalled saying in a 2010 interview. “Is there anything we can do to help you?”

Fields later said he had trepidations about revealing the problem because in Ford’s previous culture “finger pointing would have ruled the day.”

“When I showed that first red, there was a lot of tension in the room,” Fields said in a 2010 interview. “Then Alan clapped.”

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