By Keith Laing - 05/01/14 09:25 AM EDT
Ford CEO Alan Mulally is resigning in July, the company announced on Thursday.
Mulally will be replaced by Ford’s current Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields after eight years at the helm of the company.
The Detroit-based automaker said the succession has been long planned.
Mulally has worked at Ford for 45 years.
The chairman of the automaker’s board of directors gave Mulally credit for spearheading a turnaround that saw Ford emerge as the only U.S.-based car company not to take a bailout from the federal government in 2008 and 2009.
“Alan deservedly will be long remembered for engineering one of the most successful business turnarounds in history,” Bill Ford said. “Under Alan’s leadership, Ford not only survived the global economic crisis, it emerged as one of the world’s strongest auto companies. We always will be grateful to Alan for his leadership, compelling vision and for fostering a culture of working together that will serve our company for decades to come.”
Mulally was an executive at airplane manufacturer Boeing before he recruited to take over GM in the mid-2000s.
He said Thursday that he was proud of his tenure at the auto company.
“It has been an honor to serve and contribute to creating a viable, profitably growing company for the good of everyone associated with the Ford Motor Company,” Mulally said in a statement. “By working together with all of our stakeholders around the world, we now are accelerating Henry Ford’s original vision to open the highways to all mankind.”
Mulally added that he was confident Fields would keep the company moving in the right direction.
“Ford’s future is so bright, and Mark – supported by an experienced and dedicated senior leadership team – is absolutely the right leader to continue to deliver on our compelling vision,” Mulally said.
Fields was equally effusive about the departing Mulally.
“It is a true honor to lead this great company and this talented team into the future,” the incoming Ford CEO said. “Under Alan’s leadership, we have seen the power of One Ford and what a culture of positive leadership and working together can accomplish. My commitment is to build on that success by accelerating our pace of progress. All of us at Ford are committed to delivering even more of the great products and innovations that will deliver growth and define our company going forward.”