Episode 50: Mark Fields

About Mark Fields

Mark Fields

Previous President and Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company

Mark Fields served as president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company and was a member of the company’s board of directorsfrom 2014-2017.

Fields’ strong leadership was critical to the company’s North American restructuringand turnaround in the late 2000’s, and record global profitsand marginsin both 2015 and 2016.

He joined Ford in 1989 and progressed through a number of leadership positions in the United States, South America, Asia and Europe. Throughout his career, he has managed a series of turnarounds in many of Ford’s businesses around the world, most notably as president of The Americas, where he led a transformation of the company’s North Americaoperations.

Fields formerly served as chief operating officer, Ford Motor Company, a position to which he was named in December 2012. In this role, and as CEO, he was responsible for overseeing Ford’s fastest global manufacturing expansion in 50 years, and managing the most aggressive global product introduction schedule in the company’s history. Prior to this, Fields served as executive vice president, Ford Motor Company. He was named president, The Americas, in October 2005.

He also formerly served as executive vice president, Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group, where he led all activities for Ford’s premium vehicle business group, and for Ford brand vehicles manufactured and sold in Europe. Prior to this, Fields was chairman and chief executive officer, Premier Automotive Group.

From 2000 to 2002, he was president and chief executive officer, Mazda Motor Corporation, leading the company through a significant transformation. Fields was named a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 2000 and CNBC Asia Business Leader –Innovator of the Year in 2001.

Earlier in his career, Fields held a number of positions in both North America and South America, including managing director, Ford Argentina.

Fields served as chair of the U.S.-China Business Council from June 2015 to May 2017.

Fields currently serves as a Senior Advisor to TPG, a leading global alternative asset firm founded in 1992 with more than $80 billion of assets under management. He currently serves on the boards of 3 TPG portfolio boards. He also serves as an independent director on Qualcomm, Inc, Hertz Global Holdings,and is the lead independent director at Tanium.

Born in January 1961, Fields holds an economics degree from Rutgers University and an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business.

About this episode

Joining Mik in this episode of Mik + One is Mark Fields, Senior Advisor to TPG Capital, a member of Planview's board of directors, and former CEO of Ford Motor Company. Mark has presided over three decades of strategic and digital transformations at global businesses and shares how he consistently succeeded with a focus on product. He discusses the value of possessing agility, a unified vision, and a rallying cry as a business to create a product that delivers more value and potentially diverts a company off more common value streams.

In this episode, Mik and Mark also discuss drive-by-wire and how a point of view on what the future is, creates a demand for businesses to create organizational structure that can support strategy.

Key discussions include:

  • Early steps in Mark’s career
  • Turning Mazda around in Japan
  • Functional divides between business, technology, and operations
  • Focusing on product is how you get customers
  • Unifying vision and having a rallying cry in a business
  • Turning products into platforms
  • Diverting off common platforms to deliver customer missions
  • ECUs in vehicles and the cost
  • AWS and Azure bills for organizations
  • Ford’s Mach-E
  • Digital companies Mark is on the board of and how he is helping them thrive
  • Learnings and agility

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Additional Resources:

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