When Allan Gilmour retired as vice chairman of Ford Motor Company in 2005, he had served Ford under seven different CEOs, starting with Henry Ford II and ending will Bill Ford, Jr. In the 34 years he spent with Ford, Gilmour showed those around him how financial analysis can be used for more than tax returns. Gilmour used Ford’s financial records as an information source and a management tool. This understanding of numbers and figures helped Gilmour to be selected as CFO, controller and president of Ford Motor Credit.
Gilmour joined Ford in 1960 as a financial analyst on the Finance team and later as a supervisor of financial presentations. Here he caught the attention of J. Edward Lundy, executive vice president of Finance, and famous Ford “Whiz Kid.” Lundy was known for his ability to identify and mentor executive talent. He discovered Gilmour and found him to be an eager protégé.
Gilmour retired from Ford in 1995 while serving as vice president. His first retirement did not last long; he was recruited back onto the team by Bill Ford, Jr. in 2002. Gilmour retired officially in 2005.
In his retirement, Gilmour has served as a member of the board of directors of DTE Energy Company and Whirlpool Corporation. He was also the principal owner of a Ford and Chrysler dealership located in St. Johnsbury, VT, not far from his hometown of Barnet. Gilmour received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
In 2011, the Board of Governors at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI unanimously elected Gilmour to serve as the 11th president in the University’s history.
In 2002, Gilmour publicly came out as gay in an interview with a Detroit LGBTQ publication. When Gilmour returned to Ford later in 2002, he became one of the few openly gay executives at a major U.S. corporation. In 2015, Gilmour married Eric Jirgens; they live in Birmingham, MI where they run a philanthropic foundation serving LGBTQ-focused nonprofits.
Gilmour once told students during a lecture at his alma mater, Harvard University, “I learned in business that there is no such thing as a goal line. You are constantly striving toward a new goal. You need to learn to pause and reflect on the larger scheme of things.”