As Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, William Clay Ford Jr. is leading the company that put the world on wheels into the 21st century. He joined the Board of Directors in 1988 and has been its chairman since January 1999.
After joining the company in 1979 as a product planning analyst, he held positions in manufacturing, sales, marketing, product development and finance. He was elected a company vice president and head of the company’s Commercial Truck Vehicle Center in 1994. He left that position in order to assume the chairmanship of the Board of Directors’ Finance Committee in 1995. In addition to his duties as chairman, he served as chief executive officer of the company from 2001 to 2006, when he was named executive chairman.
A lifelong environmentalist, Bill Ford is committed to developing products that benefit customers and society. Under his leadership, in 2000 Ford Motor Company published its first corporate citizenship report outlining the economic, environmental and social impact of company products and operations around the world. In 2004, the company completed the world’s largest brownfield reclamation project, the restoration of its Ford Rouge Center in metropolitan Detroit. He also championed the Escape Hybrid, the world’s first hybrid-electric sport utility vehicle.
In 2005 he launched the Ford Volunteer Corps to enhance the efforts of employee volunteers serving communities around the world. In its first ten years, Ford volunteers worked on more than 9,000 projects in 40 countries.
Under Bill Ford’s leadership, Ford Motor Company was named the Best Global Green Brand among all companies in the world in 2014, and one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the seventh year in a row in 2016, the only automotive company to receive this designation.
Looking to the future of transportation, in 2011 he began outlining the company’s vision of what sustainable transportation will look like in the years ahead, as well as the steps it will take to get there. He envisioned a future in which vehicles communicate with each other and the world around them to make driving safer, ease traffic congestion and sustain the environment. As the next step in these ongoing efforts, in 2015 the company announced Ford Smart Mobility, its plan to deliver innovative advances in connectivity, mobility and autonomous vehicles.
He is Chairman of the Board of the Detroit Economic Club, a member of the Board of Trustees of The Henry Ford and the Henry Ford Health System, and Chairman of the New Michigan Initiative of Business Leaders for Michigan. He also served on the Board of Directors of eBay Inc. from 2005 to 2015. In recognition of his commitment to education and devotion to the Detroit community, in 2015 he was given the Ambassador for Humanity Award by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.
Born in 1957, he holds a bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University, a master of science degree in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an honorary Doctor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering degree from Koc University, an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Michigan and an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Bradley University.