Mark Fields (businessman)

Mark Fields (born January 24, 1961[1]) is an American businessman and former chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company. Prior to his July 1, 2014, appointment, Fields served as the company's chief operating officer. Previously, as Ford's president of The Americas, Fields developed "The Way Forward" plan. He succeeded Alan Mulally as the company's president and CEO. Fields announced his retirement on May 22, 2017, with Jim Hackett succeeding him as president and CEO, Ford Motor Company.[2]

Mark Fields
Mark Fields 2014 001.jpg
Mark Fields, 2014
BornJanuary 24, 1961 (1961-01-24) (age 58)
ResidenceDelray Beach, FL, U.S.
CitizenshipUnited States
EducationParamus High School (1979)
Rutgers University (B.A.)
Harvard University (M.B.A.)
TitleFormer president and CEO of Ford Motor Company
PredecessorAlan Mulally
SuccessorJim Hackett
Spouse(s)Jane Fields

Early life, education, and familyEdit

Fields was born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn to Gerald S. Fields, a purchasing manager, and Elinor Fields.[3] Fields is of Romanian Jewish and Russian Jewish descent,[4] and the Fields family's original name was Finkelman.[5] Fields grew up in Paramus, New Jersey, where he attended Paramus High School, graduating in 1979.[6] Fields holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Rutgers University and a master of business administration from Harvard Business School.[7] He worked for IBM prior to earning his MBA.[8] He is married to Jane Fields and has two children, Max and Zach.

Career in businessEdit

Fields was recruited by Ford in 1989 and moved up the ranks. He ran Ford's Argentina operations at the age of 36.[7] He then went to Japan to run marketing and sales for Mazda Motor Corporation (then owned by Ford) and was named president and CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation in 2000, at age 38. In 2002, Fields became chairman of the Premier Automotive Group, Ford's luxury unit, which at the time included Lincoln, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo Cars. He then was named executive vice president, Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group, where he led all activities for Ford's premium vehicle business group and for Ford brand vehicles manufactured and sold in European countries. In 2005, he returned to the United States to head the Americas division of the company. In this role, he developed the "Way Forward" plan, which was designed to make Ford's North American operations leaner and more centrally driven in areas such as product development, purchasing and engineering.

In December 2012, Ford appointed Fields its chief operating officer.[9] He was named president and CEO of Ford effective July 1, 2014, succeeding Alan Mulally.[10][11]

In the midst of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election campaign, Fields announced a plan to move production of the Ford Focus from Michigan to San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Donald Trump used this proposed move as an example of how the North American Free Trade Agreement was bad for American workers. Before Trump took office, Fields announced the cancellation of a $1.6 billion investment for a new factory in Mexico. This incident is reported to have undermined Ford's board of directors' confidence in Fields.[12] Despite strong SUV and pickup truck sales, investors lacked confidence in Ford's future direction. Although U.S. stock market indexes rose sharply during Fields' tenure as CEO from July 2014 to May 2017, Ford’s stock price fell more than 35 percent in that period.[13]

On May 22, 2017, Fields was replaced by James Hackett.[14] Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said he wanted Hackett to speed up decision-making and cut costs. "The clock speed at which our competitors are working …requires us to make decisions at a faster pace," said the Ford chairman.[15]

Fields became a senior adviser at private equity firm TPG Capital in October 2017.[16]


  1. ^ "Biographical details of Ford's new CEO". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  2. ^ Ford Appoints Jim Hackett as CEO; Mark Fields to Retire
  3. ^ Newman, Richard. "Mark Fields: From Paramus to the helm of Ford Motor Co". Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  4. ^ Carroll, Bill. "Historic Promotion". Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Ford's new CEO is Jewish". Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  6. ^ Diduch, Amry. "Paramus native tapped as next head of Ford", The Record (Bergen County), November 2, 2012. Accessed December 7, 2012. "Mark Fields, a native of Paramus and a graduate of Rutgers University, now is in line to be the next chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co.... Fields got his first taste of leadership at Paramus High School. Fields, who graduated in 1979, was active in student government, serving as vice president his senior year, according to his high school yearbook."
  7. ^ a b Bennett, Jeff; Ramsey, Mike (April 22, 2014). "Ford Boss Reinvented Himself". The Wall Street Journal. p. B6.
  8. ^ Webster, Sarah A. "Saving Ford His Job 1 - Way Forward: More Problems Than Expected Setbacks: Pickups And Other U.s. Sales Off Working To Be Profitable By 2009", Detroit Free Press, February 25, 2007. Accessed January 30, 2011. "That mix of Paramus High, Rutgers University, Zeta Psi and IBM worked like magic for the Fields boys."
  9. ^ Vlasic, Bill. "Ford Names an Operating Officer Who Is Seen as a Possible New Chief", The New York Times, November 1, 2012. Accessed December 7, 2012. "Ford Motor Company said on Thursday that its chief executive, Alan R. Mulally, would keep his position until 2014, but that Mark Fields, the head of its Americas division, would become chief operating officer and assume day-to-day responsibility for running the business."
  10. ^ Ramsey, Mike (April 22, 2014). "Ford Boss Mulally To Exit Early". The Wall Street Journal. p. A1.
  11. ^ Ramsy, Mark; Pollock, Lauren (May 1, 2014). "Ford Names Mark Fields as CEO". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  12. ^ Stoll, John D. "Ford's Outgoing CEO's Spat With Trump Highlighted Troubles". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  13. ^ "Ford replaces CEO Mark Fields amid sagging stock price and transition into 'mobility' company [Associated Press]". Retrieved 23 May 2017. The company’s stock price has fallen almost 40 percent since Fields became CEO in July 2014.
  14. ^ Ford Motor Company (22 May 2017). "Jim Hackett, President and Chief Executive Officer". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Ford names Hackett as CEO to tackle car rivals, Silicon Valley". Reuters. May 23, 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  16. ^ Martinez, Michael (October 17, 2017). "Former Ford CEO Mark Fields named senior adviser at TPG Capital". Automotive News. Retrieved 17 October 2017.

External linksEdit

Business positions
Preceded by
Alan Mulally
Chief executive officer of the Ford Motor Company
Succeeded by
Jim Hackett