First female executive in Ford’s history
On January 23, 2006, Ford Motor Company announced a restructuring plan that includes as many as 30,000 job cuts and the closure of 14 plants by 2012. All of this is supposed to stop the bleeding that has resulted in $1.6 billion in losses in its North American operations in 2005. Ford’s officers are supposed to be reduced by 12 percent by the end of the first quarter. It was reported earlier that Ford would cut 4,000 salaried jobs by the end of the first quarter.
The reduction of 20-25 percent of Ford’s North American workforce is supposed to shore up Ford’s current marketshare of 18 percent. According to Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company President of the Americas, he does not expect to increase marketshare.
Anne Stevens, Chief Operating Officer, The Americas, Executive Vice President, Ford Motor Company is the first female executive in Ford’s history and the number one woman in the automotive business. Stevens is #22 on Fortune list of Most Powerful Women and was just nominated by Motortrend as the 41st most influential person in the automotive business.
She is the first woman on the Motortrend list. Stevens will be responsible for Product Development, Manufacturing, and Purchasing. Motortrend lists her as the person they see that could be a candidate for Bill Ford’s job, not Mark Fields, President for the Americas Ford Motor Company and number 13 in their list of most influential people in the automotive industry.
Stevens only arrived in this new job in November, 2005. She was picked by Bill Ford to help with the restructuring of Ford Motor Company, partly because every post that she was in charge of has had a profit for two years after she has left.
Another reason Ford may have picked Stevens is from October 2003 to her current assignment, Stevens had served as group vice president, Canada, Mexico, and South America. Ford is an environmentalist and has aspirations of being the most environmentally friendly auto manufacturer. On January 25, 2006, Ford brought out the first Ford E85 hybrid, a hybrid that runs on 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. E85 gets about 25 percent less fuel economy.
By combining the hybrid with ethanol you will get the normal miles per gallon that a gasoline engine would give you, but the fuel would be produced right here in America. Stevens has been in Brazil for the last two years watching Brazil become more independent from foreign oil and able to pay off it’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) early because it is keeping all the energy money in Brazil.
Four years ago Ford announced a major downsizing plan that didn’t stop the bleeding. Ford’s marketshare went from 18.3 percent in 2004 ($1.73 per share) to 17.4 percent in 2005 alone ($1.04 per share). In 2005 Ford stuck $1.2 billion away for credit and insurance losses, while in 2004 it only put $483 million away for about the same volume of financial services revenue.
Stevens has her hands full as Ford is still steadily losing marketshare in North America, but there are questions for Stevens about the restructuring of Ford Motor Company:
- Cutting costs won’t create a turnaround, it will only shore up the bleeding. What specific steps is Ford taking to make a turnaround and are there any specific vehicle models that Ford is betting on to help create this turnaround?