New Ford CEO Aims to Refocus Efforts of Troubled Company

NEW YORK – Beleaguered Ford Motor Co. Tuesday replaced president/CEO Jacques Nasser with Chairman William Clay Ford Jr., great grandson of company founder Henry Ford. The 44-year-old is the first family member to have operational control of the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker since Henry Ford II stepped down as CEO in 1979.

In addition, Nick Scheele, vice president for North America, has been named chief operating officer and Carl Reichardt, the 69-year-old former chairman of Wells Fargo, was named vice chairman.

“We need to focus on basis of our business, building great cars,” said Ford. “We need to be a company dealers and suppliers want to do business with. We need to focus on our core business.”

Ford, currently staggering from the protracted Firestone tire crisis and a series of other quality-control issues, recently reported a consecutive quarterly loss for the first time in nearly a decade. On Monday, the company announced that it was extending no-interest finance offer through Nov. 20.

– Karl Greenberg