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TheStreet Open House

Why Alan Mulally Will Stay at Ford

Stocks in this article: BAFMSFT

You can see that convincing Mulally to go to work for you is not all that easy. In fact, only two companies have ever done it and one, Boeing, got him straight out of college.

One more thing I know from talking to Mulally: He falls in love. He loved Boeing and now he loves Ford. His passion, like his personality, is bigger than most people's.

During a 2012 interview in his office in Dearborn, Mulally pulled out an original copy of the Jan. 24, 1925, edition of the Saturday Evening Post, expressed his delight in having obtained it, and opened it to a two-page Ford ad/Henry Ford manifesto titled "Opening the Highways to all Mankind." (A blown-up version was on the office wall).

"This is inspirational," Mulally said. "Here's Henry, he's wildly successful, when only the wealthy have vehicles, and he has a compelling vision." Mulally begins to read aloud from the magazine: "Back of all the activities of the Ford Motor Company is this universal idea -- a whole-hearted belief that riding on the people's highway should be within easy reach of all the people." In that moment, Mulally, with Ford insignias engraved on the cuffs of his sleeves, embodies a crusading idealism as he seems to re-channel the spirit of the company's founder.

As he reaches the final paragraph, Mulally declares, "Here's what makes me cry in the morning," before he continues to read aloud: "The Ford Motor Company views its station today less with pride in great achievement than with the sincere and sober realization of new and larger opportunities for service to all mankind."

Honestly, does that sound like a guy who is going to leave Ford?

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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