- Summary: Maybe Bill Ford Jr.'s comment at the last Ford (F) board meeting should have been a clue: "I'm really struggling with trying to keep all the balls in the air. It's a lot--perhaps too much." Ford announced yesterday that effective immediately, Boeing (BA) senior executive Alan Mulally is joining as its new president and CEO, a bold move by Ford considering his lack of experience in the auto industry. Bill Ford, will retain the role of Chairman. In January, Mr. Ford announced a turnaround company for the company, however this has not sufficed in making the radical change the company needs in the face of pension and health-care obligations, high gas prices, and foreign competition. According to Mr. Ford, Mr. Mulally's name "kept coming up" when began to look for a replacement. His experience in leading a major turnaround at a large industrial company is what made him a fit for the job: at Boeing, he reduced the workforce from 120,000 to 50,000 employees while slashing the time required to build airliners by 50%.
- Comment on related stocks/ETFs: See Seeking Alpha's full coverage on Ford, with a range of opinions from bulls and bears. The Stock Masters asked yesterday, in advance of the announcement, if Ford can survive. Investopedia Advisor is a contrarian bull on Ford. John Bethel explains why Ford's main problem is product, not costs.
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