Mulally says no change in plan to stay as Ford CEO

DEARBORN, Mich. — Alan Mulally, the man who has led Ford Motor Co.’s turnaround from near financial ruin, would not say Thursday if he has talked to Microsoft about the CEO job at the software giant.

“We don’t comment on the speculation,” Mulally said in response to a question from The Associated Press on the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call.

Mulally, 68, repeated that there’s no change in Ford’s plan for him to stay as CEO through the end of 2014. He has held the top post since 2006, when he was hired from aviation giant Boeing to rescue the company. Ford is set to report its fifth-straight profitable year under Mulally.

Redmond-based Microsoft Corp. is reportedly considering Mulally as a replacement for CEO Steve Ballmer, who intends to step down in less than a year.

One management expert said the Ford CEO’s no-comment indicates that he has some interest in the Microsoft job.

“His non-denial denial means that he’s either talking to them or that he wishes he were talking to them,” said Yale University management and law professor Jonathan Macey, who has written a book on corporate governance.

Mulally said Thursday that nothing has changed since last November, when Ford announced that he would stay through 2014 and that veteran executive Mark Fields would take over day-to-day business as chief operating officer. Fields ran the company’s Americas operations for seven years, turning them into a profit machine. His appointment as COO is a strong indication that the board favors him to replace Mulally.

Mulally hasn’t denied reports that Microsoft is courting him. His name surfaced shortly after Ballmer said in August that he would retire. The two are friends, and Mulally still has a home in the Seattle area. Ballmer even spoke with Mulally over coffee about a wide-ranging reorganization that Microsoft announced in July.

Earlier this week Oracle President Mark Hurd said he’s not planning to become the next Microsoft CEO.

More in Herald Business Journal

Voters are on the sidelines as the port fills a vacant seat

Troy McClelland resigned from the Port of Everett commission too late for an election before 2019.

In space capsules today, little room but big improvement

Boeing and SpaceX are relying on a tried-and-true design as they each develop new spacecraft.

First Boeing KC-46 delivery to Air Force slides into 2018

Certification milestones have been missed, and problems have emerged in flight test, a source says.

Newest must-try eatery: 85°C Bakery Cafe in Lynnwood

The popular bakery, part of a Taiwan-based chain, is already drawing out-the-door crowds.

Snohomish County tax liens

Tax liens are gathered from online public records filed with the Snohomish… Continue reading

Trudeau: Canada could stop dealing with Boeing over dispute

Boeing had petitioned the U.S. to investigate government subsidies of Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft.

Toys ‘R’ Us files for bankruptcy but keeps stores open

Retailers of all kinds are struggling. Toys ‘R’ Us is among at least 18 other bankruptcies this year.

Marysville-Arlington fiber-optic link planned by Comcast

The high-speed internet line, to be ready next year, is seen as a boost for business development.

‘Cheese that was grass 24 hours ago’ wins a farm accolades

Ferndale Farmstead specializes in authentic Italian cheeses — made with with American milk.

Most Read