Ford expected to announce new CEO

Ford CEO Alan Mulally will step down by the end of the year and is likely to be replaced by the company’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields, a source familiar with the matter said.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, Mr Mulally is now 68 and has said in the past that he would stay on until the end of 2014.

According to Bloomberg, the announcement may be made on May 1.

A Ford spokeswoman said the company can't comment on the speculation; however Mr Fields, who was named Chief Operating Officer in 2012, is widely regarded as being the likely next CEO of the auto giant.

Mr Mulally joined Ford in September 2006. He led the company through a major turnaround and is highly regarded in the industry. He has been one of the highest best paid auto executives in recent years. Over the past three years he has earned $73.7 million, mostly in stock.

Mr Fields, a New Jersey native, was previously in charge of Ford's North and South American business. During his time in that job, he was involved in downsizing of the North American business. This included reducing Ford’s labour force by 39,000.

Before that, he was in charge of Ford's European operations and ran its luxury autos group, which included Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover.

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