According to the company blogpost from Google CEO Larry Page announcing the move, "Alan brings a wealth of proven business and technology leadership experience." Although not explicitly mentioned in the Google announcement it is expected that Mulally's expertise will be welcomed at Google's current self-driving car project as well as his ability to help promote new and future Google software technologies in cars.
Google shares were up 0.52% to $587.80 in early New York trading.
Mulally, 68, retired from his position at Ford on July 1, and is credited with steering the number two U.S. car manufacturer through the recession in the last decade without the need of government bailout loans. He restructured the company by getting rid of unprofitable divisions such as Jaguar and Volvo, to focus on its own Lincoln luxury models.
Prior to joining Ford, Mulally worked his way up from an staff engineer to Executive Vice President at Boeing (BA) and CEO of that company's commercial airplane division at a time of increased competition from Europe's Airbus Group.
Mulally had originally planned to stay with Ford through all of 2014 but retired six months early. Brooklyn-born Mark Fields took over for Mulally. Fields had previously been Ford's President of the Americas and CEO of Mazda from 1999 through 2002.
Mulally had also been rumored to take over for former Microsoft MSFT CEO Steve Ballmer until the position was filled by internal candidate Satya Nadella in February of this year.
Mulally, who was officially added to the Google board on July 9. He joins former Intel (INTC) CEO Paul Otellini, VMware (VMW) co-founder Dianne Green, venture capitalist John Doerr, MIPS Technologies founder John Hennessy, Ann Mather, Ram Shriram, and Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman.
Google is slated to announce second quarter earnings tomorrow afternoon after the closing bell. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect the company to earn $6.25 a share on $15.62 billion in revenue.
-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
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