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Ford CEO Mulally says he has not set retirement date

DETROIT — Ford CEO Alan Mulally said Tuesday that he hasn’t told the company’s board when he plans to retire.

“Absolutely not,” the 67-year-old Mulally said when asked the question in an interview on CNBC in New York. He was attending an event to launch the new Fusion midsize car.

Mulally said he discusses succession plans regularly with the board, but he gave no details. He also said there was no reason to announce his retirement date because he’s committed to serving the company.

Speculation about Mulally’s future has been rampant in Detroit. It intensified last week when Ford’s board discussed who might replace him. No decision was announced.

Many in the company expect Americas President Mark Fields to be promoted to Chief Operating Officer, a step that prepares him to take over for Mulally.

Mulally is highly respected at Ford for saving the company from financial collapse. Shortly after he was hired away from Boeing Co. in 2006, he mortgaged all of Ford’s assets for a huge loan. The $23.5 billion loan paid for a restructuring and helped keep Ford out of bankruptcy protection.

Earlier Tuesday, Mulally told The Associated Press in an interview that he plans to be at Ford for a while. “I have no other plans going forward but to serve this great company,” he said.

He also told reporters at the Fusion event that he has read reports about his retirement, calling them interesting and creative. “Please don’t write me off yet,” he said.



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