Ford picks Kumar Galhotra to replace Raj Nair as North America chief


FORD North America president Raj Nair has left the company suddenly after an internal investigation into reports of inappropriate behaviour. Jim Farley, Ford global executive vice president and president, showered Galhotra with praise upon the announcement. Ford Motor Co. said in a printed release that Galhotra will lead all aspects of the North American business, the company's primary source of revenue and profits.

According to Reuters, Mr Nair stands to lose about $US4.8 million worth of Ford restricted shares had he remained with the company until May 2020.

Mr Nair, an engineer by trade, had only held his current position - regarded as one of the most powerful in the Ford hierarchy - since June past year. In an accompanying statement Nair regretted the incident. Galhotra is credited with reviving the struggling Lincoln brand.

Mr Nair becomes the latest high-profile American to lose their job for unsavoury behaviour as workers push for more accountability from powerful corporate and political figures. The review determined that certain behaviour by Nair was inconsistent with the company's code of conduct, it said. Nair will forfeit unvested restricted shares worth at least $6.2 million as of Wednesday's close in NY, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Farley said in the release that Galhotra is a "seasoned leader who knows how to drive a business transformation".

Nair also signed a two-year non-compete agreement before leaving the company.

Ford CMO Promoted To President, Ford North America

Galhotra, who has also served as Ford's chief marketing officer since previous year, takes charge of a business that generates about 90 percent of Ford's global profits.

Raj Nair, Exective VP, Product Development and Chief Technical Officer for Ford, announces the new line of 2017 Ford Fusion cars at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 11, 2016.

Joy Falotico, 50, will succeed Galhotra as group vice-president of Lincoln and chief marketing officer, also effective March 1.

Succeeding Falotico is David McClelland, who has been named vice president of Ford Motor Co. and chief executive of Ford Credit. She had been CEO of Ford Motor Credit Co., which provides loans to dealers and customers.