Ford Motor Company Plans Transition as Industry's Best CEO Announces Early Retirement

Boeing announces details regarding its future commercial aircraft and Ford announces departure of CEO Alan Mulally.

May 1, 2014 at 3:00PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was trading 43 points lower, or 0.26%, after mixed economic data hit the news feeds. On the bright side, personal spending rose 0.9% in March from the previous month's level, according to Morningstar. The spending improvement was the biggest increase in half a decade. Incomes were also up more than anticipated, rising 0.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis. On the downside, initial unemployment claims rose a larger than expected 14,000 last week to 344,000. As the markets continue to search for a direction today, here are some companies making headlines.


Ford CEO Alan Mulally will retire early. Source: Ford.

Outside the Dow, Ford  (NYSE:F) on Thursday confirmed recent speculation that CEO Alan Mulally would indeed step down early.

Mulally, who has been credited with turning the once-troubled automaker around in impressive fashion, will retire from Ford on July 1. He previously had indicated plans to stay with the company through 2014. Ford has named Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields as president and CEO, effective July 1, which will complete the long-planned, and hopefully seamless, leadership transition.

"From the first day we discussed Ford's transformation eight years ago, Alan and I agreed that developing the next generation of leaders and ensuring an orderly CEO succession were among our highest priorities," Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement. "Mark has transformed several of our operations around the world into much stronger businesses during his 25 years at Ford. Now, Mark is ready to lead our company into the future as CEO."

What Mulally has accomplished since taking the helm in 2006 is nothing short of impressive. Consider that Ford lost more than $30 billion between 2006 and 2008, then managed to turn a profit in 2009; meanwhile, Ford's two crosstown rivals were forced into bankruptcy.

This will likely be more of a painless process than many realize. Fields had been slowly taking over day-to-day operations at Ford while Mulally took a more long-term focus for the company. The apparent smoothness of the changeover was demonstrated during Ford's recent first-quarter earnings presentation, when no industry analysts asked about Mulally's rumored early departure. There were a number of questions on the matter from journalists, confirming to me that this is more of a news headline matter than any cause for investors to worry.

Inside the Dow, Boeing (NYSE:BA) investors have a little more insight into the commercial aircraft that will fuel the company's growth over the next couple decades. Boeing expects to finish flight testing its stretched 787-9 Dreamliner in the next couple months and hopes to deliver it around the middle of this year, according to Reuters. Boeing will also begin manufacturing components for its 737 MAX jetliner in 2014 and plans for final assembly to start by the middle of 2015. The aviation giant also mentioned it was "well along" the way in choosing suppliers for its 777X wide-body jet, which should enter service in 2020, Reuters reported.

Those three aircraft families will account for more than half of Boeing's commercial plane sales over the next two decades, according to the company. There will be a lot of sales up for grabs as the company expects the world fleet to double in size, which will be worth an estimated $4.8 trillion over the next two decades.

"What we have in work today really is the future of Boeing Commercial Airplanes," said Scott Fancher, senior vice president for airplane development, according to Reuters. 

The greatest thing Warren Buffett ever said
Warren Buffett has made billions through his investing and he wants you to be able to invest like him. Through the years, Buffett has offered up investing tips to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. Now you can tap into the best of Warren Buffett's wisdom in a new special report from The Motley Fool. Click here now for a free copy of this invaluable report.

Daniel Miller owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool recommends Ford. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers