DETROIT Jan 14 Alan Mulally, credited with
reviving Ford Motor Co's fortunes since taking the helm in
2006, emphasized on Tuesday that he remains deeply engaged in
setting the long-term strategy and day-to-day operations of the
second-largest U.S. automaker.
"I'm still doing everything I did," he told reporters in a
wide-ranging conversation on the sidelines of the Detroit auto
show. "I'm just spending more time on the longer term issues and
I'm right there on the day-to-day issues. I'm the CEO."
His remarks came about a week after he removed himself from
the sweepstakes to become the next CEO of Microsoft Corp
following months of speculation. He also reiterated
that he planned to stay at Ford through the end of this year.
Mulally spoke a day after Ford unveiled a revamped version
of its top-selling F-150 truck made almost entirely out of
aluminum, which the company hopes will widen its lead over
rivals General Motors Co and Chrysler Group LLC
in the lucrative truck segment.
Ford originally announced Mulally's plans to remain at the
automaker in late 2012, as part of a series of changes,
including the promotion of Mark Fields, Mulally's eventual
successor, to chief operating officer.
As COO, Fields now runs the weekly "business plan review,"
part of the structural changes implemented by Mulally.
People close to Ford said last year that its newly promoted
executives have been making a mark on the company while Mulally
contemplated the Microsoft role as well as setting the long-term
vision of the company.
Those longer-term issues include Ford's growth overseas as
well as how to serve the growing number of urban-dwelling
consumers for whom buying a vehicle is impractical.
But this does not mean he has taken his hands off the wheel,
Mulally said. He said he has now moved just one chair over from
Fields and participates in every meeting.
"It's not like I'm doing one or the other," Mulally said.
"Mark runs the BPR (business plan review) in the leader's chair
and I'm right there with him every step of the way."
Ford shares were up 1.7 percent at $16.39 on the New York
Stock Exchange on Tuesday afternoon.