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Shell Chairman Jorma Ollila Resigns as a Director of Ford Motor Co




October 18, 2008

Two Resign From Ford’s Board


Two board members of Ford Motor Co. resigned Friday just one week after the auto maker’s chief financial officer signaled he would leave the company.

Sir John R. H. Bond and Jorma Ollila have served on the Ford board since 2000 and jointly announced their exit Friday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

In that regulatory disclosure, Ford said the two directors “believe they could not devote the additional time and international travel that would be required of them as the company responds to the unprecedented external environment and rapidly changing auto industry.”

The two directors won’t be immediately replaced and the board will now have 11 members.

A Ford spokesman said the resignations were not connected to any disagreement over the management or direction of the Dearborn, Mich., company and were not related to the abrupt retirement of Chief Financial Officer Don Leclair, who leaves Ford Nov. 1 after 32 years. People familiar with the matter said Mr. Leclair left after other senior executives complained that they could no longer work with him.

“Ford’s board remains very strong, independent and experienced,” Ford spokesman Mark Truby said. “Our board members are fully engaged in directing the company at this important time.”

The spokesman declined to say how often the board has met this year or how much more often they intend to meet in the future.

Ford is also about to report its third-quarter earnings, and is expected to announce a substantial loss. The company posted a loss of $8.7 billion for the second quarter.

Sir John, 67 years old, is the former chairman and chief executive officer of HSBC HoldingsPLC, where he worked for 45 years until 2006.

Known for his frugality at HSBC, he has since taken over as chairman of Vodafone Group PLC. While a director at Ford, he also worked as a $25,000-a-day paid consultant to its senior management. After his resignation, he will continue to serve as an unpaid advisor to board Chairman William Clay Ford Jr.

Mr. Ollila, 58 years old, is both the chairman of Nokia Corp. as well as the Royal Dutch Shell Plc. At Ford, he served on the board’s audit, nominating and governance committees.

Both Sir John and Mr. Ollila could not be reached for immediate comment.

—Kate Linebaugh contributed to this article.

Write to Matthew Dolan at


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