Mark Fields (businessman)

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Mark Fields
Mark Fields 2014 001.jpg
Mark Fields, 2014
BornJanuary 24, 1961 (1961-01-24) (age 59)
CitizenshipUnited States
EducationParamus High School (1979)
Rutgers University (B.A.)
Harvard University (M.B.A.)
TitleFormer President and CEO of Ford Motor Company
Term2014–2017
PredecessorAlan Mulally
SuccessorJim Hackett

Mark Fields (born January 24, 1961[1]) is an American businessman and former chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company. Prior to his July 1, 2014, appointment, Fields served as the company's chief operating officer. Previously, as Ford's president of The Americas, Fields developed "The Way Forward" plan and separately led a significant turnaround of Mazda. He succeeded Alan Mulally as Ford's president and CEO. Fields announced his retirement on May 22, 2017.[2] He currently serves as Senior Advisor at TPG Capital and on several corporate boards.

Early life, education, and family[edit]

Fields was born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.[3][4][5] Fields grew up in Paramus, New Jersey, where he attended Paramus High School, graduating in 1979.[6] Fields holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Rutgers University and a master of business administration from Harvard Business School.[7] While studying at Rutgers, Fields joined the Delta Chapter of Zeta Psi Fraternity. He worked for IBM prior to earning his MBA.[8]

Career in business[edit]

Fields was recruited by Ford in 1989 and moved up the ranks. He ran Ford's Argentina operations at the age of 36.[7]

Fields was assigned to Japan to run marketing and sales for Mazda Motor Corporation (then owned by Ford). He was named president and CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation in 2000, at age 38, then the youngest CEO ever of a major Japanese company.[9] Prior to his arrival, Mazda posted an annual operating loss of over $100 million (USD). Fields instituted a turnaround plan that saw Mazda post a 2001 operating profit of $215 million by creating a culture of promoting for talent rather than seniority, reducing labor costs, and implementing a unified design product vision that led to the company’s "Zoom-Zoom" brand image of the 2000s.[10][9]

In 2002, Fields became Chairman and CEO of the Premier Automotive Group, Ford's luxury unit, which at the time included Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo Cars. He then was named executive vice president, Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group, where he led all activities for Ford's premium vehicle business group and for Ford brand vehicles manufactured and sold in European countries. Ford’s European operations returned a profit in 2004 for the first time since 1997.[11] All Premiere units other than Jaguar were profitable by 2005.[11] Aston Martin "created a new generation of products including the Vantage and DB9" that "led to the highest sales years in the company's history."[10]

In 2005, he returned to the United States to head the Americas division of the company. In this role, he developed the "Way Forward" plan, which was designed to make Ford's North American operations leaner and more centrally driven in areas such as product development, purchasing and engineering. Under Fields, in 2012 Ford reported record-high North American profits of $8.3 billion[12] on a record 12% profit margin.[13]

In December 2012, Ford appointed Fields its Chief Operating Officer.[14] He was named president and CEO of Ford effective July 1, 2014, succeeding Alan Mulally.[15][16]

During Fields' tenure at Ford, Fields was credited with replacing a combative senior executive culture with a collaborative one.[17] Former CEO Mullaly recounts a time when Fields took personal responsibility for a failed tailgate latch on an SUV that was delaying the car's launch, in contrast to the rosy projections offered by other senior leaders in the face of serious challenges.[17] In 2015, Ford reported its highest profits and margins ever and was able to distribute $9,300 profit-sharing checks to hourly employees.[18] In 2016, Ford announced plans to redesign its Dearborn headquarters into a walkable, "Silicon Valley"-style campus.[19] As CEO, Fields committed $4.5 billion to electrified vehicles, including the electric Mustang Mach-E,[18] and returned to the 24 Hours of Le Mans race to win on the 50th anniversary of its 1966 victory.[20] In February 2017 Fields drove an investment in Argo AI, combining Ford’s autonomous vehicle development efforts with Argo AI’s robotics and artificial intelligence expertise.[21] On May 22, 2017, Fields announced his retirement from Ford and was replaced by James Hackett.[22][23]

Fields became a senior adviser at private equity firm TPG Capital in October 2017, focusing on the firm's industrials practice.[24] In January 2020 he joined the advisory board of InStride.[25] He serves on the Board of Directors of Qualcomm,[26] Ellucian,[27] Tanium,[28] and others. In mid-March 2020 he predicted a recession based on the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy[29] and has described the electric vehicle industry as facing a "reckoning."[30]

In September 2020, Fields joined the Board of Directors of Tanium, an endpoint security and systems management company.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biographical details of Ford's new CEO". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  2. ^ Ford Appoints Jim Hackett as CEO; Mark Fields to Retire
  3. ^ Newman, Richard. "Mark Fields: From Paramus to the helm of Ford Motor Co". Archived from the original on 3 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  4. ^ Carroll, Bill. "Historic Promotion". Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  5. ^ Morrow, Brendan (January 3, 2017). "Mark Fields: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  6. ^ Diduch, Amry. "Paramus native tapped as next head of Ford" Archived November 6, 2012 at the Wayback Machine, The Record (Bergen County), November 2, 2012. Accessed December 7, 2012. "Mark Fields, a native of Paramus and a graduate of Rutgers University, now is in line to be the next chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co.... Fields got his first taste of leadership at Paramus High School. Fields, who graduated in 1979, was active in student government, serving as vice president his senior year, according to his high school yearbook."
  7. ^ a b Bennett, Jeff; Ramsey, Mike (April 22, 2014). "Ford Boss Reinvented Himself". The Wall Street Journal. p. B6.
  8. ^ Webster, Sarah A. "Saving Ford His Job 1 - Way Forward: More Problems Than Expected Setbacks: Pickups And Other U.s. Sales Off Working To Be Profitable By 2009", Detroit Free Press, February 25, 2007. Accessed January 30, 2011. "That mix of Paramus High, Rutgers University, Zeta Psi and IBM worked like magic for the Fields boys." Archive via Archive.org
  9. ^ a b "Mark Fields, the man behind Mazda's 'zoom zoom' ad campaign named Ford Motor's new CEO". thestar.com. 2014-05-01. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  10. ^ a b "Mark Fields Made His Mark at Mazda, An Eyewitness Account".
  11. ^ a b "Ford earns $3.5 billion in 2004". The Oakland Press. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  12. ^ "Ford Posts $8 Billion 2012 Profit on Strength of North America". WardsAuto. 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  13. ^ "Ford profit beats forecast on record North America margins". Reuters. 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  14. ^ Vlasic, Bill. "Ford Names an Operating Officer Who Is Seen as a Possible New Chief", The New York Times, November 1, 2012. Accessed December 7, 2012. "Ford Motor Company said on Thursday that its chief executive, Alan R. Mulally, would keep his position until 2014, but that Mark Fields, the head of its Americas division, would become chief operating officer and assume day-to-day responsibility for running the business."
  15. ^ Ramsey, Mike (April 22, 2014). "Ford Boss Mulally To Exit Early". The Wall Street Journal. p. A1.
  16. ^ Ramsy, Mark; Pollock, Lauren (May 1, 2014). "Ford Names Mark Fields as CEO". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  17. ^ a b TODAY, James R. Healey, USA. "Analysis: What fueled Mark Fields' rise at Ford". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  18. ^ a b Vlasic, Bill (2016-01-28). "Ford's Annual Profit Surges to $7.4 Billion". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  19. ^ Martinez, Michael. "Ford unveils 10-year plan to transform Dearborn campus". Detroit News. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  20. ^ DeBord, Matthew. "Former Ford CEO Mark Fields will join private-equity group TPG Capital". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  21. ^ "Ford invests in Argo AI".
  22. ^ Ford Motor Company (22 May 2017). "Jim Hackett, President and Chief Executive Officer". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  23. ^ "Ford names Hackett as CEO to tackle car rivals, Silicon Valley". Reuters. May 23, 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  24. ^ Martinez, Michael (October 17, 2017). "Former Ford CEO Mark Fields named senior adviser at TPG Capital". Automotive News. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  25. ^ "InStride Names Former CEOs of Cardinal Health, CitiBank, N.A., Ford Motor Company and Regal Entertainment Group to Its Advisory Board". www.businesswire.com. 2020-01-28. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  26. ^ "QCOM Company Profile & Executives - Qualcomm Inc. - Wall Street Journal". www.wsj.com. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  27. ^ "Mark Fields joins Ellucian board of directors". Ellucian. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  28. ^ a b "Former Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields Joins the Board of Directors of Tanium". Tanium. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  29. ^ "Ford CEO predicts recession".
  30. ^ "Former Ford CEO says industry faces 'reckoning' over EV goals". Automotive News. 2019-06-11. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
Business positions
Preceded by
Alan Mulally
Chief executive officer of the Ford Motor Company
2014–2017
Succeeded by
Jim Hackett