How long has Ford known it was eventually going to ask the government to bail it out? Over two years ago, when Alan Mulally was tapped by Ford to run the company, Tim Carney pointed out that one of Mullaly’s greatest accomplishments at Boeing was squeezing a great deal of money from the marble pillars of our nation’s capital. His expertise is in political entrepreneurship rather than executing effective business strategies.
Reading the two year old column in the Washington Examiner is almost eerie now:
Alan Mulally comes to Ford from Boeing, where he was CEO of the commercial aircraft division. The 61-year-old executive enters an ailing company that drastically needs a turnaround. The choice seems a bit odd on some scores. Mulally made and sold aircraft in an industry with exactly two participants — Boeing and Airbus — and in which he was selling to airlines, not consumers. A different skill set would seem to be in order for running a carmaker.
In his favour, Mulally presided over two key turnarounds at Boeing. A closer look at those turnarounds — and at Boeing’s modus operandi — raises suspicions that Ford might soon become another beggar at the federal trough of handouts…
What changes will Mulally bring to Ford? The carmaker spends half as much on both lobbying and campaign contributions as does Boeing, a smaller company. Will Mulally “fix” that? Will he make Ford the new Boeing? Can taxpayers afford another Boeing?
At the time, long before the financial world imploded, Boeing was perhaps the greatest recipient of corporate welfare in America.
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