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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  May 7, 2012 7:15am-8:00am EDT

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the white man systems they prevailed most essential of these two occasions. these people produced very able and capable leaders to deal with very difficult situations, doing the best that they could to get the best, negotiate the best deal for the people that they could. but under a government that basically had changed the rules any time they feel like it through congress and its plenary power, so they, on balance to me, and i don't see them as a beleaguered people as many people seek native americans, because to me the story of the chickasaw people and that there was resilience, always, after their sovereignty, their well being, their livelihood was challenged and they always rose to meet those challenges, and a dignified in a professional, in
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a way that anyone could deem as being very american. we hear so much these days about things being un-american. well, they were very american and way of doing these things. and they are flourishing. their tribal businesses are doing well. they are providing a very competent and professional health care system, education system to educate their children to the chickasaw nation is alive and very well. >> for more information on this and other cities on the local content vehicles to her, go to >> next on book tv, rice hoffman recounts forward motor companies business practices under ceo alan mulally from 2006-2011.
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mr. mulally interviewed over 100 people involved in the company's overall from executive chairman bill ford, great grandson of ford's founder, henry ford, to the automotive companies employees, union heads and car dealers. this is about 45 minutes. >> thank you very much. thank you all for coming and thank you for watching if you're at home. i just want to start up by talking a little bit about how this book came about. i have been covering ford motor company for "the detroit news" since 2005, and from the beginning when i started covering ford, i knew that i was really witnessing an incredible story. i didn't is going to end but i knew what was happening here in dearborn, either the death of an american icon or its resurrection. and while i was quietly rooting for the latter, i was going to write the story either way. so as i followed the day to day events of the tournament of forward through "the detroit
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news," i also in the back of my mind was writing this book. and in 2010, when it became clear that ford had turned the corner and safety itself, and done it without taking the taxpayer bailout i might add, i've approached bill ford, jr., the chairman and ceo alan mulally with a proposal to write this book. it tells the real star of ford's turnaround because i really felt that this was a great american story. at a time when some and corporations have kind of gone to washington with their hands out and asked the american people to save them from their mistakes. here was at least one company that had taken on its own problem, fix them and sell. -- fixed it himself. i thought it was a great example, kind of a different sort of story from a lot of the negative news that we hear so much from the business world. but i also thought that there was a thought that other organizations, other companies and other organizations could learn from the ford story.
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what i had witnessed here in dearborn was really one of the most amazing transformations i've ever seen at any organization, and i think that america has ever seen. taking a company that was really a company at war with itself and turning it into a model of teamwork and efficiency, and really kind of proving to the world that these one american company could kind pick itself up and compete with the best in the world and win. so, you know, i made the pitch the best way to tell the story was if they would let me tell it all. access for all of its excesses, company documents, and to their credit, ford understood that. i told them, i said i will give you any say on how this book turned up at think with all of it's a fundamentally positive store and i think it's that much stronger if you let me tell it in its entirety. and they got that, and they kind
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of let me inside a glass house to see how this all happened. i can tell you even as someone who spent the past seven years of his life following ford every day, i learned a lot. it was a thought that happen behind the scenes that nobody knew about. there was a lot that happened behind the scenes that even people in the company, when they heard about it, were surprised about. and that's really what i tried to get to in "american icon." so i thought that i would start by talking a little bit about how i went about researching this book. because it was a little bit of an unorthodox process. most of the people who were central players in this story still work for ford motor company. and i want them to be able to speak candidly for me about the struggles that they went through to save this company. and so i made the same day with everybody from bill ford, jr. to people i talked to on the factory for -- floor.
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and that was is that anything we talk about can be used in this book but it won't identify the names of anybody's whose source was. the only time that i would directly quote from people is when i am reconstructing conversations that happened, and i will only be when i'm able to talk to one of the people with direct knowledge of those conversations. and that was kind of the ground will. dial-up most people do feel like they can open up a little bit more than if you're talking to a newspaper reporter and anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law with your name attached to it. and the other thing was that, there's one point where broke from the and that's the final chapter of this book. i had this interview with alan mulally without acetylated with him were asked to do on the record, so to speak to you want him to be able to speak to you directly, to speak to the reader directly about what the experience and what he learned and what he thought the big learning of ford's turnaround were. so that was the one exception to
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that. and i guess what i'd like to do at this time is, for people who haven't read the book, just kind of go through some of the different high points in the florida story, why i think these were important. so i'm going to start at the very beginning, if you will. which is, i think an important point that i wanted to make it i didn't want to dwell too much of ford's history because a lot of books have been written about the history of ford motor company and henry ford. but i thought it was important to make a point about ford, and that was that ford was not the same as general motors are crossed that it had unique issues. and such is really briefly i would just like to read the opening paragraph of the book which kind of addresses those in a nutshell. while many of ford motor company's problems were shared by the rest of detroit, the dearborn automaker also face
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some challenges on its own. ford's woes have nothing with a rival of the japanese in the 1960s or the oil crises of the 1970s. the company had been struggling with itself since henry ford started it on june 16, 1903. it invested massively in game changing products, and then did nothing to keep them competitive. it allowed colts a personality to form around larger-than-life leaders, but drove away the talent needed to support them. and it allowed a cost of corporate culture to be the way at the company from the inside. these with birth defects that could be traced back to the automaker's earliest days. henry ford it like to boast that he had created the modern world. in many ways he had. but he also created a company that was its own worst enemy. and i think anybody who has worked at ford or spent time at the company in the years before its recent turnaround knows just how true that is. as i go on to describe, this is
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a company where time after time going back to the days of the model t, they really hit the ball out of the park with one product, and then they just didn't invest in that product. they didn't keep it competitive and they got passed by other automakers. they did that with a model t. they did that with the ford taurus in the 1980s. it was also a company where there was just really bad careers where people put their own careers ahead of what was best for ford and the bottom line, let alone the customer. some the stories that i talk about in here that i heard as i was researching this book kind of boggled the mind. there was a decision made at one point a few years ago about a product that was being designed for the asian market, a small car that was very competitive. and actually ends up becoming a fiesta that is on sale today, and it was originally designed so that it couldn't be sold in the u.s. because the person was in charge of that division at the time didn't want the u.s.
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deficient to be able to get that car and get the benefit for that, because they were competing for whose division is going to be the best. so it was a company that wasn't competing with general motors or toyota. it was competing with itself. and, obviously, as a lot of people here in the shadow of ford world headquarters knows, it was accompanied by the middle of the 2000s was really headed down the tubes. and one of the things that i discovered working on this book was just how serious the situation had become. by the summer of 2006, the board was actively looking at bankruptcy. they were looking at parting at the cover. there were private equity firms circling around dearborn like vultures tried to pick off parts of ford. the family looked at taking it private at one point. and nothing seemed to be working. bill ford had really tried to turn things around but he just couldn't cut through this culture that was so entrenched in dearborn.
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and so, in july of 2006, there's a pivotal board meeting in which bill of greed to step aside and make room for someone else to take over, and as he said, which i talk about in the book, this is really a moving statement. he said i have a lot invested in this country but the one thing i don't have invested in this is my ego. and he stepped aside, and they begin a search for someone who could save the company. and as i talk about, they had already tried to go after kind of big names in the auto industry. they tried to recruit carlos from nissan. they tried to recruit doctor c. they had been turned down. so they look outside the auto industry and the guy whose names at the top of the list was alan mulally soldiers read a little bit about him and where he was coming from. as the head of the boeing company commercial airplane group, alamo lake has spent the
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past 10 years fending off one disaster after another while somehow managing to transform the culture into the model of corporate collaboration. under his leadership, boeing survived an unrelenting assault by europe's airbus industry and difficult merger with rival mcdonnell douglas and the collapse of sales of the terrorist attacks on new york and washington, d.c. 2001. mulally turned what could of been a fatal blow into an opportunity to fundamentally transform the company to a leaner, more profitable enterprise but by 2006 boeing's commercial jet division was well on its way to record sales, revenue and earnings. he credited it to a team-based approach he calls working together. he learned many of his principles from ford motor company. mulally's success at boeing was already making him something of a corporate celebrity, but he hardly acted the part. he looked like an older version of richie cunningham. which people who have seen them probably know exactly what i mean. the wholesome protagonist on the
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television sitcom happy days. mulally had the same reddish blonde hair, the same point again and the same geewhiz grin. only mulally suggested he knew more than he was letting on. it was only a hint that there was something more to him. he had an ace up his sleeve. otherwise he came up with a overgrown boy scout but in words like need, cool and absolutely. while most high level executives favored suits and expensive conference, his trademark was a red windbreaker. 's idea of dressing up with a blue blazer and tie instead of expensive -- featured a smiling jumbo jet under his name whenever he signed it. the seattle times called him mr. nice guy. malawi's lack of pretentious is evident in his team was other people. at formal events, he showed
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little interest in rich and powerful preferring to mingle with those less interested. he asked more questions than answers and seemed genuinely interested in what people have to say, the the world leaders or waitress. he made a point of her memory something about everyone in that and would often astonished underlings by rick on some scrap of information about their lives they had shared with them months or years before. he was also big on hugs and good to know to plant takes on the cheeks of both men and women when he was in a particularly exuberant mood. all of this made mulally endured by subordinates and also kept his life off balance. they could never quite figure out how much of it was, in fact, and mulally like to keep it that way. so bill ford brought mulally here to michigan, and i just want to read a little bit about their first meeting. on saturday july 29, 2006 unfortunately -- on the way to michigan poured over the thick
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file of data collected on the come to the researcher been doing since the first focal generate a newt of questions and he was about to meet them and he hoped could answer most of them. mulally began writing his questions out on the back of a copy afford most recent annual report. the planes landed at the airport which been built by four during world war ii. when mulally stuck his head out into the humid summer air, he found a driver waiting for him next to a ford expedition. the man took his bag and opened the rear door but mulally signed into the front passenger seat. a big sport utility vehicle navigate, the winding road to the roads near ann arbor, mulally found himself growing excitement. i'm just here to gather information, mulally reminded himself. i'm not decide anything. they pulled up to bill ford dated him. mulally admired the estate to give recognize that he was in the demand of the truly rich but
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as the exposition of up to the front door, he was surprised to see the lord of the men emerged a company by his wife. mulally surprised the fourth but bring them big hugs. bill gave my brief tour of the ground and invited him inside to the two men sat down on couches in the spacious living room and started with football. they both knew the ceo of the seattle seahawks, but they soon got down to business, down to the business itself. for start by outlining the history of his company from its founding by henry ford did in haiti days to the debacles. culminating his own frustrated efforts to save it, he talked about the competitive landscape rating against toyota, which he refused working with the japanese, too many to be in an order for other exports but he told my the upcoming 2007 contract negotiations with united auto workers were critical to the company's survival, and outlined the
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concession he helped to rest from unique of wage cuts, more competitive work rules and into the jobs that were idled workers continued to collect pay and benefit, sometime for years waiting for new positions to open a. if ford could not get the concessions it might have to move most of its production to mexico. mulally seemed hooked it only there were a lot of challenges facing him and to a lot of questions you need answered before you consider taking charge of such a troubled company. but he was a chance to fight for the very soul of american manufacturing. if i'm going to do this i'm going to need to know everything he thought. so mulally began his interrogation. why are there so many brands? what does the strength of the tier networks why all these different regional organizations but why haven't you been leveraging your global assets? ford was taken back by the answered every question mulally put to him. he told mulally of nasa's jim of building building a house of brand. he acknowledges there to be cute
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and he told told the loud about his own push to globalized product developer. until we do that nothing else were, ford says. our costs will be too high. our product will be too slow. we are just going to fall further and further behind. why haven't you done it already? ford explained you want to but was getting pushback from his executives who saw as a threat to their own regional systems. if mulally took the job he would have to find a way to overcome that resistance. that will be the enabler to get everything else done, ford told them. if you can't do that, if we can't get that then we will just be one to pass the greater to the internal politics travel bug he asked bill ford for more details the ford grabbed a paper and sketched out the company's organizational structure in black pen, a county of sorts the list of head of each division and should be reported to do. the operative people are on quicksand. they need help. mulally had realized that force
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problems were serious, but did not know they were this bad. bill ford was clearly in over his head and did not try to conceal. allowed was moved by self-awareness and candor that worried about the dire portrait of ford's painting of the cover. if the automaker saw a chance to save itself, he was the last to but as the two men met, and i talk about this one in the book, allowed couldn't stop himself from using the word we. he kept saying this is what we need to do to fix the company. how about if we do this? by the end of this first meeting with bill ford, he was hooked. he really wanted to come to view point and to try to say forward. there was a lot of wrangling back and forth to get them here because he always wanted to stay at boeing. but in the end, as we know, he came to dearborn. and i want to jump over to talk all of it about mulally's first day at world headquarters here. at 2:20 p.m., they pulled into
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the crotch of the world headquarters like a smoker but his eyes darting down the rows of washed jaguars and land rovers that were the preferred rise of ford's executives make sure none of them were around. mulally noted the lack of ford and lincoln's. bill ford was waiting when they pulled up to the entrance way. he was a little surprised to see his new ceo emerged from the land rover wearing a blue blazer, all of slacks and a button-down shirt and yellow tie. this was dearborn, michigan, not silicon valley. men still wore suits here as ford demonstrated. but mulally was about to establish a new normal. he was wearing what would soon be recognized as is customary uniform. indicated that he might makes up a bit with a white shirt and red tie, maybe even gray trousers, but allowing would not put on a suit even when he visited the white house. waiting next to bill ford was handing him a young communications executive who would, mulally's medium handler and -- once again the mulally
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was overcome by its own history and felt a lump in his throat as he surveyed the model t's, muslims and other rich boards. he smiled as he passed a portrait of henry ford. curious employees walk by wondering who this guy was posing with bill ford. when they were done the group heard into the executive elevator and wrote it up to the 12th floor. mulally followed for into his office which occupied the northeast corner. he pointed to mulally's own office just a few steps away. the two suites were separated only by a waiting. i'll be ready when you need me, ford said. the company senior executives were cramped and bill ford's private conference room. the overseas chiefs were listening in on speakerphones. at 3:30 p.m. for an mulally walked in and the room fell silent. ford explained that he was resigning and introduce more out as ford's new chief executive. as he taught, all eyes were on
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mulally. he did his best to smile back and fight the growing intensity of their status. he had never felt so scrutinized. mulally thought about shouting who got been telling us is leading executives don't worry, it's going to be okay. but he restrained himself. mark fields i've mulally's outfit it easier to meet the prez and he's wearing a sports coat, a dapper executive thought to this is going to be different. the first impression was he little bit corny and he was not the only one who felt that way. valley farm boy demeanor surprise many in the ring. he doesn't look like he'll be a hammer. he'd gotten the news that morning and google mulally before heading over to bill ford conference or the banister was hoping for something with a bit more graviton. is fed up with infighting at dearborn and thinking of quitting. he likes mulally but wondered if he was tough enough to get things done. mulally seem more like a
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politician to scholz was put off ice backslapping and are squeezing the why did you leave boeing, he asked? this is an opportune for me to another american and global icon, valley replied. at least one person rolled their eyes. it was not a warm reception. forward executives, like yours of all, they were accustomed to smiling to the nuking even as they plotted his demise. mulally was an outsider did not take long for someone to note that mulally knew nothing about the automobile industry. we appreciate you coming here from a company like boeing, but you've got to realize this is a very, very capital intensive business with long proud development. the average car is made up of thousands of different parts and all have to work together flawlessly. that's really interesting,
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mulally replied with a passenger. a typical passenger set has 4 million parts and it's just one thing fails the whole thing falls out of the sky. so i feel pretty come to the that shut them out and mulally got the message. they don't believe i can do this he relies. and i was really not just the case at four but that was the case at gm and chrysler, today i remember the a lot of jokes and have about the return of cars with tail fins and flying car and there's a lot of skepticism. the key to mulally's turnaround of ford was really changing the way that the company operated at the top. and the way that he got to kind of all the nonsense, all the, got of the facts, kind of famous now, thursday morning means we need all these executives come together, sit around a big round table and go over all the information about the company's operation every week it and it
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was all color-coded to green and everything was fine. ya lament something might be in trouble. and red meant there was a problem. there was not going to be any debate about whose fault it was or why it was this way. we will discuss how to fix olympic this was to make sure how everybody knew was going on so they could fix it. and the problem was that once they learn how to do it, for the next few weeks all the slides were green. everything seemed to be fine. and yet allowing you that ford was to losing billions and billions of dollars. so finally after a few weeks of these meetings, mulally asked everybody, isn't there anything going wrong at this topic with where going to lose billions of dollars this year. something can't be right. seven next meeting was really a pivotal point. because after that, after that
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mark fields, the head of ford america division decided he was going to take a chance with honesty. at the time a lot of people thought that mark fields was going to be out pretty quickly, so the glasshouse was ripe with rumors of his impending demise but he was the most obvious threat to the new ceo. so it's only natural for mulally to take it out. that's a things have been done in dearborn for as long as anyone could remember. those thoughts were weighing heavily on fields might as he prepared his slide for the next meeting. when he got the one showing the status of the north american product programs, he paused. as usual they were all green. he stared at the lines of the new ford edge which is due to launch in just a few weeks. production had already begun at the company's factory in ontario. there was a problem. a day before fields had received a call from force quality chief accused people had already signed off on the edge of
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certifying it is okay to begin shipping the cars to dealers. the first ones were already being loaded onto the train in canada as they spoke. now the test i've had reported a grinding noise from the transmission. technicians were unable to get what was causing the problem. we don't know what it is, but we need to hold the cars into we find that. the edge was forged next big thing. its first true cross over. feels new the delay in the launch might bring down the wrath of the new ceo. then again should a vehicle with a potentially serious problem was certain to do that. it was at the end of the year, the time when ford executives traditionally pulled out all the stops and cut whatever corners might be necessary to hit their sales targets. but that was the old fart. mulally had already made it clear that he did not want any vehicle shipped that were not ready. okay, let's hold the launch, he
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told power. i don't like it but i want to be safe rather than sorry. it was a tough decision, but fields now face an even tougher when. it was one thing to delay a launch, telling everyone about it in the next thursday meeting was something else entirely. fields colleagues would've ripped into shreds. besides he reckoned that maybe the noise would turn out to be nothing and the new crossovers would be on to showrooms before anyone outside his own team would notice the delay. but then again, maybe not. late that wednesday feels was going over his life with his new had a manufacturing when the product programs like popped up on the screen, he was done. he pointed to the red box next to the ford edge. are you sure you want to show that? joe, is it red? yeah. well then, we will call it like it is. as his turn approach to mexico feels figure he had about a 50/50 chance of walking out of the room with his jacket by now
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he assumed it was a good chance he's going to lose anyway though. somebody had to figure out if this guy is for real, he thought. as he studied mulally trying to define his mood if i go out, it might as will be in in a blaze of glory. deals begin his overview of the business environment in the americas. he called for the slideshow of the regions financial, then those one on other progress. fields tried to be nonchalant. and on the ford edge, in red, you can see it there, we are holding the launch. there was dead silence. everyone turned towards fields, soviet mulally who was sitting next to him. dead man walking, thought one of his peers. i wonder who will get the americas, wanted another. sadly some started clapping but it was mulally. mark, that is great visibility. who could help mark with this? been economy ceasing to he said he would send some us of the experts to help them right away. tony brown, vice president in
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charge of purchasing said he would contact all the really supplies and asked them to check the components. now we are getting summer, mulally thought. lally would later call this meeting a defining moment in forged turner. he had always believed he saved the ford motor company, now he knew he would. all he needed was a plan. and as many people know, he put his plan together on little card and it was really simple. it was aggressively restructure the company to profitably, to operate profitably at the current demands. accelerate the deployment of new cars and trucks people actually want. finance the plan and work together as a teen. and the rest of the book pretty much tells the story of how they did that and how they were able to use that to get through this recent crisis without taking a taxpayer bailout, without going and asking washington to fix their problems for them, doing it themselves the old-fashioned way. and that's "american icon." so -- [applause]
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>> thank you. with that i'll take any questions anybody might have. >> with fourth the oems are trying to become global. where do you see forward, what is your opinion, how are they when they stacked them up against oems? >> a big part of mulally's turnaround strategy was bringing the company's global operations together, which it operated as a separate company around the world almost since the founding. now it's operate more as one company, but there's a couple of problems. ford was late to the game in asia, and so they have a lot of ground to make up, particularly in china which is good to pass the u.s. and to become the biggest car market in the world. and europe has become a problem for all automakers, even the european automakers because europe in a lot of ways is going
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through with u.s. was going to a few years ago. the debt crisis there, their income is collapsing, people are scared to buy cars and spend that much money. and so for destruction with the rest of the industry. they are up right now, you know, to hold its own. but the thing is, i think it's important to recognize that all of ford's problems haven't gone away. but the problem that it's dealing with today are the problems that any company deals with in the course of doing business. it's not fighting for its like him or. it that the with the same problems that held back for decades that it never could or can. that's what is really different now. >> i'd like to thank you for the little bit of irony there was in the beginning of the book regarding earnest, because ford brought breach in from frigidaire, from general motors. and in breach his book, let me back up.
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the irony is the and crept into because when breach let forth he went to gw a f. a t. w. a on the map. but when breech came to ford, and breech spoke, he says to about himself or his is the best thing that happened to ford motor was the day they hired ernie breech. does mulally at any one time in your interview even suggest that the best thing ever happened to ford motor was the day they hired alan mulally? >> i think he knows a. i may, there's no question that if he hadn't come in the company was going to go out of business. but it's kind of funny because i think one of the fundamental point i try to make in this book, and it's a bit of a paradox, is that ford was in stitches because a guy rode into town on a white horse. a lot of the things that mulally would do to save for, to turn around were all plans of the people that come up with that they were trying to implement. but on the other hand, if he
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hadn't ridden into town on a white horse forward would have been say because those plans never would've come to permission and the time ford had left. i know at one point when i was into doing people for this book i was talking to the head of product development for forward. he really had this whole kind of strategy for global product development in place before mulally came on the scene. he just couldn't anyone truly taking circe, listen to this plan. but they have started down this road already. i asked him, i said derek, what would have if mulally hadn't shown up? would you have made it for would you have run out of money first? and he was just quiet, because he said i don't know. so i think, yeah, i think that's how you have to look at it. >> i'm a ford engineer. i'm really thankful that he is not a bean counter.
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but two questions if you could. what's your comment on the appropriateness of his conversation, and did ask him why he didn't move his family are? >> sure. it's funny that you talk about an engineer saving ford motor company. i remember the first time i ever interviewed alan at any length was about six weeks after he started, and became downtown detroit to meet with us at "the detroit news." i'll never forget, as we were walking out after the interview, he said leamington you something. he said, engineers are the source of all value creation in this country. bean counters don't create anything, got to keep that in my. he was talking about how he's going to empower engineers, which i'm sure you have experienced firsthand. but you know, those are good questions but he is one of the highest-paid executives and he is the highest-paid executive in the auto industry, and i've asked him about that. teepees that it's a testament to
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his value that he contributed to the company. on the other hand, you know, a lot of people lost their jobs over this period of restructuring, as you know. i think it's hard for some of those people to see him making so much money. you know, as far as moving his family here, you know, i think that's a good question. i mean, he's a seattle guy. he spent 30 years of his life at boeing, and when he is done your forte is going to go back to seattle and retire because that's his home. but, you know, he knew he was coming here to do a job and when he's done, he is going home. >> anyone else? >> in your interviews with alan mulally knowing that he came from boeing, and all that went on with boeing and his previous boss is now in jail, was any come in your conversations with him, did you ask or did he
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somehow indicate that he was upset with losing the top dog job at boeing? because my understanding from reading the 21st century jet, about the triple seven, was alan mulally really try to fight for that job and he kind of got set aside by congress but is that fair? >> i will be honest, if you ask that question, which i had, he will tie you that he is not, that he's had with how things worked out. but i think he is. everybody thought he was next in line to take over as the ceo of boeing. and the reason he didn't become the ceo of boeing is because in part because the former head of boeing, who was his boss, he had nothing to do with, was involved in a corruption scandal with the pentagon and the pentagon didn't want to have that cloud lingered over them so they made condition of future business with boeing, bring in an outsider. but yeah, i think, i think this
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is a guide who everybody thought would save the company. and he didn't get the top job. i think if he had, obviously he would still be there at night here in dearborn. so for the michigan economy, i think it's a good thing he didn't. >> i had a quick question about just alan's relationship with the detroit area and how he feels he is, like, i don't know, does he have heart in this area or do more in seattle? i've lived in both places. i grew up here and i was born here, and i lived in seattle, i extended the technology scene there, and that you see that area as being, they should be very, you know, influential to detroit. but when you come here, i mean, there's just differences and i can see why he would want to stay there if he has his kids
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there. how does he somehow transferred some of that to the detroit area? did you talk to him how he could do that? >> i think it's clear that he came your to fix forward, not just to fix detroit. and i think that he certainly sees a stronger word benefits the local area but the reason he came it was to fix forward. -- fix forward. >> have you received in response from the ford management from mulally all the way that? >> i have. i talk with to much everybody in the book, and i would say that to some it up there's at least one thing in a book that everybody doesn't like and digital with anybody but overall i think that it's done a pretty good job of telling the ford story. it's uncomfortable to be out of this sort of scrutiny, but, you know, as i told all the people that are talked about in this book, you know, i thought is important to be honest and to look at this thing in its
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entirety. >> to piggyback on her question, what did bob king and ron gettelfinger think of the book? >> i haven't heard from bob yet or run. but the uaw is obvious a big part of this book, and what the uaw is with mulally to change the rules of the game, and allow ford to build cars in this country profitably was really key to turning the company around and get it to where it is today. wait for the microphone. spent i was wondering, it was no surprise to people in the industry that the auto business was very inefficient and uncompetitive. and the fact that the government
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was able to turn general motors around so quickly i think is evidence of that, because they brought in people in the investment business. well, why do you, or do you have an opinion as to why it took so long for bill ford to find somebody that could handle the job? >> well, i think it's because, i think it really did take an outsider to come in and really take a hard look at the problems that all of these companies were facing. you know, the way i like to explain to people is, and i know a lot of executive who tried to save for and other companies, and it's like people were under the hood kind of tightening the belt and changing the spark plugs and stuff like that, but nobody paid that you could just pull the engine out and rebuild it from top to bottom without killing the whole enterprise.
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but mulally didn't know that you couldn't do that. and he just saw that it didn't work and he was like well, we will just fix it. i remember one of my first entities within. i asked him, i sent a lot of this people in town say what do you know about the car business, you build airplanes. why should people think that you're going to be able to fix this? and he said, you're right. i don't know anything about how detroit works, but i know it doesn't work. and i think that was key. you talk about gm being saved and the interesting thing is, this is an anecdote, i talked to some it was a meeting with the government automobile task force in charge of saving gm and chrysler, and they went to a meeting there. shortly after the government bailed out those companies, and on the wall in the meeting room was alan mulally's plans. basically this card was on the wall, and they were using it as
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a roadmap for fixing gm and chrysler. so in a lot of ways, a lot of the learning that came from ford's turnaround for applied particularly 2g but if you look at what gm is doing right now, a lot of it is doing exactly what was done at ford. one more. last question. >> i know you are saying about how mulally came to four to fix forward and not really detroit, but if you think about it, he really has to fix detroit as well or he will lose the capabilities that are in this area. i mean, if detroit is so close to this crucial bankruptcy, you know, hiring a city manager or whatever that deal is, doesn't he feel that if he were to lose that capability in detroit that he would lose a lot of these technology and just engineering resources here that are so localized your? >> i think he feel about all the companies, i think they want to see michigan be strong and they want to see all of michigan be stored.
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not just detroit. for doesn't have a lot of operations action in detroit. but the whole reason as a whole needs to be strong to support these companies through education, through job training, you know, right now there's a chronic shortage of engineers and things like that. even getting people with the skills to work on the assembly lines. these are not easy jobs that can be filled people without the right train. so obviously fixing the problems of southeast michigan and michigan as a whole are critical to the sustainability of the auto industry. i don't want to keep people who just want to get their books signed waiting too long, so i think we will stop there. and cute for your questions, thank you for coming. thank you for watching. [applause] >> for more information visit the author's website, >> you've been watching


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