Ford Motor Company has not offered any official comment on the promotion of Mark Fields to Chief Operating Officer but with the rumors that Fields is one of the front runners to take the position of Chief Executive Officer when current CEO Alan Mulally retires. As the COO, Fields will serve as the second in command for the Motor Company and working just under Mulally would help prepare Fields to handle the CEO position when the 67 year old Mulally decides that his time has come to an end. Other names rumored to be in the running for the next CEO of Ford include the company’s Global Marketing Chief Jim Farley and Joe Hinrichs, who currently oversees the automaker's Asian operations. Realistically, moving Fields from President of the Americas to Chief Operating Officer almost guarantees his future role as the Chief Executive Officer – unless Ford should decide to have one of the other possible candidates leap Fields to sever as CEO when Mulally retires. However, that would shock us a great deal.
Mark Fields’ current position as the President of North and South American operations could be filled by either of those two men who were previously in the hunt for the CEO position. However, with the amount of experience across the ranks of Ford management – it is hard to predict exactly who will step into Fields’ current position should he become the new COO. Ford of Asia boss Joe Hinrichs is six years younger than Fields so perhaps with Fields moving to COO and eventually CEO, Hinrichs could transition from Chief of Asian Operations to the President of the Americas. From there, the younger Hinrichs would be in line to become the next CEO years down the road when Mark Fields is ready to retire.
While nothing has been made official by Ford Motor Company, it is expected that Mark Fields’ move to COO would be voted on during the monthly company board meetings which are set to begin tomorrow. Provided that the board approves of this move, Fields could be named the Chief Operating Officer by the end of this week. Based on his 23 years of experience in the automotive industry, his years working at the head of American operations and his overall demeanor with the public and the media – Mark Fields should fit nicely into the management team as the new COO. Under the leadership of Alan Mulally and Mark Fields, Ford has come a very long way so having Fields take the reins once Mulally is ready to step down could help to insure that the Motor Company will stay on the current path of success.