Mulally Finally Joins An IT Firm And It's Google!

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 16, 2014


It’s confirmed… Former president and CEO of Ford Alan Mulally has joined one of the biggest IT companies. And yes, it’s not Microsoft, but search giant Google. The 68 year-old has been appointed to Google’s board of directors, according to a company statement.

Last year, when former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced his exit from the company, analysts and industry experts were keen on anticipating ‘the next CEO of Microsoft’ Mulally’s name was on the top of the list, along with a few more. But the rumors faded into thin air with many assuming, his plans would fall flat, given that it would be a weird jump from auto industry to that of IT… But he did finally join an IT major, silencing several of his critics.

Read: Ford to Microsoft: Can Mulally make the transition?

According to a WSJ report, Google courted Mulally for several months, said a reliable source who disclosed that Mulally told an acquaintance that Microsoft and Google were the only companies he would be interested in leading after retiring from Ford.

Google CEO Larry Page became interested in getting to know Mulally after he read the book “American Icon,” which chronicles the former Ford chief’s efforts to turn around the struggling auto maker, said the report. Since then, the two executives have had several conversations on leadership as Page pushes Google to remain innovative as it grows, the source told the news site.

 “Alan brings a wealth of proven business and technology leadership experience,” Larry Page, CEO and cofounder of Google, said in a statement. “I am so pleased that Alan is now joining Google’s board!”

 “I am honored to serve on the board of a global iconic company that is dedicated to enhancing our lives,” said Mulally who ran Ford from 2006 until June 2013 and is credited with steering the company’s turnaround. “I look forward to working together with the Google board and management team to continue to deliver their compelling vision.”

While Mulally’s lack of expertise in the tech industry has caused some apprehensions in the business circle, especially when there were rumours that he would join Microsoft, many believed Mulaly has been one of the most highly respected CEOs in the industry today. Brian Johnson, a Barclay analyst said in a report, “Alan has fundamentally transformed Ford both in simplifying its brand portfolio and developing a system that coherently exploits scale while generating interesting, exciting product.”

Experts have also observed that Mulally is known to be a more transparent decision-maker and it was under his leadership that Ford became the only US-based auto company that did not go for a bailout. Instead, Mulally restructured the company through private markets.

Read: Google Joins Automakers For Android-Powered Cars

With Google’s car project moving at an advanced stage, with the company developing a fully autonomous car, the company needed a more incremental approach to address safety and other technology and business challenges faced in the auto industry and experts believe this would be the ideal time for Mulally to come on Google’s board.