As President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, Alan Mulally successfully guided Ford through the U.S. financial crisis and relentlessly implemented a comprehensive strategy for the company’s turnaround. Mulally’s strategy, called “One Ford”, brought the company together under a compelling vision and restored Ford’s status as one of the world’s leading automakers.
Raised in Kansas, Mulally was a big-picture thinker at a young age. He was so inspired after watching President John F. Kennedy’s “we choose to go to the moon” speech, he jumped up and said “I’m ready.” Mulally graduated from the University of Kansas with degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering. He received a Master’s Degree in Management as a Sloan Fellow from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
He joined Boeing in 1969 and led numerous important projects including the development of the Boeing 777, “the first all-digital airplane.” Mulally would become President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes by 2001 before being named President and CEO of Ford in 2006.
Mulally’s reversal at Ford began by mortgaging every asset Ford had, including its iconic blue oval logo. Though some questioned this decision, it was a move that saved Ford from asking for a bailout from the United States Government during the 2008 financial crisis. Mulally’s leadership quickly showed results. In 2006, Ford Motor Company lost $12.7 billion, one of its worst financial performances ever. By 2010, Ford reported an income of $6.6 billion, its best profit in a decade. Ford also introduced several breakthrough vehicles under Mulally, like the industry’s first aluminum-body pickup truck. Thanks to his financial vision, business acumen and astute planning, Alan Mulally achieved one of the most extraordinary corporate turnarounds in American business history.