Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Alan Mulally Previous Next
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 1965
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 1:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll /article?AID=/20070401/BUSINES S01/704010618
a little surprised no one mentioned or linked earlier - thought it was a good article

seems like a lot of what's been going on at Ford

quote:

morale has been battered in recent years by continued bad performance, failed turnaround plans and a culture that some describe as can't-do and careerist

the deteriorated manner in which...leaders worked together, without politeness, structure or unity

executives not paying attention, checking their BlackBerry devices and mocking each other's ideas...some people kind of made fun of each other at people's expense



could be applied to the entire Metro Detroit region - maybe when FoMoCo is done with him, he, Penske, and some others can team up and get the metro area working right
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 4022
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 1:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lilpup... he sounds like a great guy... who can get results! ... and have fun...
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Chuckles
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Username: Chuckles

Post Number: 79
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 7:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All this as they layoff tens of thousands and issue millions in bonus's to the big wheels....

gimme a break

it's only a matter of time for FoMoCo
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 891
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 7:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Actually as some one who usually bashes execs I am so far impressed with him. Not impressed with the 20 mil signing bonus. But I like how all employees got a bonus recently. Sounds to me like he's got the right idea. The idiots at GM and DCX prefer to motivate thier employees not with bonuses, but with threats of, "See how we just cut a bunch of Engineers, that could have been you".

Let's see how he does after a year on the job, sounds like he's produced more results in 6 months than Wongoneer's team has in two years. Maybe GM should be looking at outsiders to run things. I've long believed that people born and raised in this area are at a disconnect with the way things are done in the rest of the country. It applies to the blue bloods as well as the blue collars.
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Plymouthres
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Username: Plymouthres

Post Number: 18
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 2:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Having taken a VSSP from Ford on February 28th after 13 years of employment with them, I have been sitting on the fence as far as whether or not I should comment on any of the various threads that have popped-up about any of the car companies and their misfortunes. I think Alan Mullaly is a good guy, and from the Freep article I believe this opinion is reinforced in what was written by Miss Webster there. The problem that I have is that Mullaly is only the head of Ford, not the mid-level management guy. He may be able to make his executive managers have a "good time", but there is little left in the way of talent to pull it all off. The department that I left had almost 850 people in it, and was a vital part of Ford. The area that I worked in was their main test facility, and when the "Thanks for working at Ford" letter went out the day I left, there were over 560 names on the distribution list!! How you can get rid of that many people in one fell swoop (over 55%)and not be effected is beyond me!! Not only that, these were people with good experience-irreplaceable in my book!!
Additionally, the worst there is not over. Prior to my working in the last area I was in, I had the privilage of working in the Advanced Studio's. Some of the clay models that I saw coming out of the studios reflected what the article said-a lack of morale, confidence and listening to what the public had to say! This has been reflected in the companies inability to produce strong selling brands across the board. It isn't the executives, only, it is an across the board arrogance that trancends the companies various levels and finally is shown in the resulting introduction of unwanted vehicles.
I agree with Cambrian that the jury is still out on Mullaly, however. Remember, he changed what Mark Fields started with the "Way Forward" after Fields admitted he had fallen short! In a year we will know better. I just shudder to think that getting rid of good, hard working people is somehow "managing" the product.Lastly, remember that in turning Boeing around, Mullaly went form 156,000 employees to just over 56,000. Apparently, he embraces the cut and slash attitude as well. I could say much more, but am interested in what others have to say.....stay tuned!!!
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 896
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 2:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well with all due respect, ask a worker whether all of his coworkers' positions are necessary to the company, and they will answer yes, regardless. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. But I'm certainly willing to believe Ford had some fat to cut.
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 1051
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 3:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We go round and round on this topic of auto cuts and it always comes back to.. the market is not what it used to be automakers are NOT in business to provide jobs, but to provide a return on investment for shareholders. That's it, cut and dry.

Trim the fat, the production scale has FINALLY caught up to the economy and people who didn't get out the NUMEROUS times 1,000's were cut before or those who though they had job security are blind. We have seen cut backs for the past 20 years and people should take advantage of tuition reimbursement and work on another line of work. It's the sad reality... I come from a plant family so I know the ups and downs.
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Bucho
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Username: Bucho

Post Number: 344
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 4:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm a former Detroiter now living in Seattle and working for Boeing. I've been very impressed with the turn around plan here. To compete in this global environment, companies must be nimble, lean, with great vision. I think Mullaly certainly exhibited great vision here, and I suspect when he is done with Ford, it will also be nimble and lean.

If Ford doesn't cut the fat and become more lean, other companies will. In fact they already have, hence the quagmire we're in here.

I love my Ford Ranger, its a great, well made truck, but the fact is Ford still not making a profit. They are too big for the global economy. Sorry, just the way it is, either change or die...
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 1968
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 4:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ford is *not* too big for the global economy. It's solely the North American divisions that are plaguing Ford & GM. Their overseas operations are profitable.
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Plymouthres
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Username: Plymouthres

Post Number: 19
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 4:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Focus, Viz and Bucho,

I pretty much agree with what you've said.I will address each of you separately, as you all have valid points of interest in your responses.I knew that these comments were coming, as my post did not fully explain my response-it would take a lot more than a paragraph or two to do that!

Focus-
Thanks for the respect. Perhaps I wasn't clear with what I said, and that's why I was reluctant to comment to begin with-I'm still pissed at how the company has been mis-managed and therefore has put people like me in the position they are in.I did not, in any way say that the cuts were not necessary. What I did not make clear, in re-reading my post, was that this happened all over Ford-not just in my department. Apparently getting rid of 55% of the people was okay with you, but when I was there we were already shorthanded. Many of us were working 50+ hours per week and getting paid for 40! I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do to save the company, all the while getting knocked down on my PR each year, to the point that I had gone from an Excellent Plus/Outstanding to a Satisfactory. The reason given for my decline in ratings was that " didn't manage my time effectively" and "your skills do not match the direction the company is headed in"! Imagine that!Did they have fat to cut? Sure! But 55%? I doubt that was necessary.
By the way, that number was purely arbitrary-and decided long before Mullaly was named to his position.Yes, they had some fat to cut.

Viz-
You are correct-it is a business first and a place
of employment second. My beef was with the squandering of the opinions of many, many experienced people who were trying to tell the management that the direction they were taking was just plain wrong. That started in the late 90' early 2000's and it hasn't stopped since. The problem, at least from where I stood, was the arrogance of mid-level managers who failed to promote those concerns to upper management, fearing that as the bearer of bad news their positions would be eliminated. Perhaps if they stopped just long enough to listen to the logic presented, instead of acting like anyone below them wasn't worth their precious time, they would have done something to circumvent the wholesale slaughter of talent that has occured.By the way, those same mid-level people had no problem contributing to the $12 billion loss (buyouts) when they took them.We never thought we had job security, we just thought that the right thing would be done. What a mistake to believe what we were being told! By the way, I did take advantage of the reimbursement, having gone back to college at 45 years of age in a effort to improve my knowledge for the company and myself. I was told not to expect a "bump" when I got my degree, though, as my skills would not match the direction that the company was headed in-talk about a morale reducing statement! By the way, I am getting my Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in June, having graduated in the top third of my class from U of M Dearborn
with a 3.375 GPA. But I guess they don't need people with a degree and 27 years experience!

Bucho-
I'm glad that things worked out for you. I am in the process of that transition now, having just been hired by IBM as a consultant. Apparently they didn't have a problem with my degree or my experience. You also certainly have more experience with Mr. Mullaly having worked for him. That's one of the reasons I'll defer on his performance for a year. He certainly brings more hope than Mark Fields ever did, in my opinion!

All in all, it will be many years before Ford comes around in the market.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 600
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 7:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Am I the only one who thought he looked creepy as hell in those photos?
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Viziondetroit
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Username: Viziondetroit

Post Number: 1053
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 9:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Plymouthres, congrats on getting your degree and noticing that you needed to make move OUT the "system"..... I hope it works out for u
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Plymouthres
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Username: Plymouthres

Post Number: 20
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 9:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rhymes- Yea, I agree, the dude looked pretty Steven Grantish in those pics!!!
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Plymouthres
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Username: Plymouthres

Post Number: 21
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 9:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Viz-

Thanks! The degree thing was a no brainer for me. I just wish I hadn't taken a 25 year hiatus between attending and had just finished it from the start! Going back at 45 made me feel like grandpa in those classes! I just wish the girls were as cute when I was going the first time!!! I remember sitting in Calc II with a couple of kids that were juniors who had exhausted all the AP classes in high school and were going to college because they had nothing better to do! They couldn't believe that someone would actually go back to school after so long!!
I will never settle for "status quo". In this day and age, if you don't adapt and change, you will indeed die!
By the way, I was an engineer/designer with Ford, and I am consulting for IBM on a design system that I worked on at Ford-only now I have a degree to accompany the experience! I really haven't left "the system", just working for a company that seems to value experience and hard work more than the previous one!!
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Elviswithteeth
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Username: Elviswithteeth

Post Number: 11
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 10:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Evening All...
I also had taken the VSSP...came with alot of sleepless nights to make the decision to MOVE ON. I too had 14 years within Ford and quite sorry to leave. I can appreciate what Ford is trying to do but I'm not to optimistic with the company's future. I had many reasons for leaving...perhaps an opportunity to do something different was chance I wanted to take. Mid-life crisis? I could have gotten a tattoo instead! Or a Harley? Good luck to those who are left.
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Sticks
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Username: Sticks

Post Number: 243
Registered: 08-2005
Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 12:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Taurus brand will stay; the Five Hundred name will go.

How come I didn't hear of this earlier? Seems like it woulda been bigger news. Or maybe I live under a rock.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 612
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 3:22 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rhymes- Yea, I agree, the dude looked pretty Steven Grantish in those pics!!!

Ha! "Steven Grantish" is my favorite new adjective for spooky schitt.
Example:
Bloke No. 1: "Did you see how every home in that Farmington Hills subdivision looked exactly the same and that they were all painted the exact same color?"
Bloke No. 2: "Yeah, man. That was totally Steven Grantish. Gave me the shivers."
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Plymouthres
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Username: Plymouthres

Post Number: 22
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 8:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Elvis-
I feel your "pain", but don't feel too bad. I think those that didn't do anything with their offer will soon find out how bad of a decision that was.Before I left, one of the guys that I was an executive mentor to told me that this was only the tip of the iceberg-there would be another 12% at the end of this year(before December 31) and another 15% or so next year-until the company became profitable again! If you don't mind me asking, what were you doing when you left(job title) and have you found work yet? If not, and if your in the design/engineering field, shoot me your e-mail and I can try to help hook you up!

I, too, am not very optimistic for the companies future, even with Mullaly.

All I can say is good luck to those who remain! After talking with no less than a dozen who remain, they swear that I did the right thing, as things now suck!!!

Rhymes-
Glad I could "help" expand your vocabulary a bit!!!

Lilpup-
You are spot on! The Americas are where these companies are really dying! They are, indeed, globally competitive.

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