The inside story of the epic turnaround of Ford Motor Company under the leadership of CEO Alan Mulally.
At the end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was just months away from running out of cash. With the auto industry careening toward ruin, Congress offered all three Detroit automakers a bailout. General Motors and Chrysler grabbed the taxpayer lifeline, but Ford decided to save itself.
Under the leadership of charismatic CEO Alan Mulally, Ford had already put together a bold plan to unify its divided global operations, transform its lackluster product lineup, and overcome a dysfunctional culture of infighting, backstabbing, and excuses. It was an extraordinary risk, but it was the only way the Ford family—America’s last great industrial dynasty—could hold on to their company.
Mulally and his team pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in business history. As the rest of Detroit collapsed, Ford went from the brink of bankruptcy to being the most profitable automaker in the world. American Icon is the compelling, behind-the-scenes account of that epic turnaround.
In one of the great management narratives of our time, Hoffman puts the reader inside the boardroom as Mulally uses his celebrated Business Plan Review meetings to drive change and force Ford to deal with the painful realities of the American auto industry.
Hoffman was granted unprecedented access to Ford’s top executives and top-secret company documents. He spent countless hours with Alan Mulally, Bill Ford, the Ford family, former executives, labor leaders, and company directors. In the bestselling tradition of Too Big to Fail and The Big Short, American Icon is narrative nonfiction at its vivid and colorful best.
When the government offered to bail out the big three Detroit automakers, Ford decided to go it alone and save the family business. Unpopular as it was at the time, the decision proved to be a win for the company, which turned things around and fostered astounding growth and success. Narrator Pete Larkin delivers an excellent performance that takes listeners on a tour of the crunch-time decisions that changed the company. Larkin's deep, steady, and confident delivery is well suited to this tale of corporate greed and business deals. His style, reminiscent of a classic newsman, easily hooks listeners who will stick around to see how Ford managed the turnaround. A Crown Business hardcover.
This book will make you a Ford fan!
I’ve always been a Ford fan. After hearing in depth everything Alan Mulally, Bill Ford and the rest of the leadership team did to save Ford and not accept a tax payer bailout I am truly impressed. As long as Ford holds to the legacy of Henry Ford and Alan Mulally I’ll be driving a Ford!
Renewed faith in U.S. manufacturing
The take-away from this book is the knowledge that with the right leadership, U.S. manufacturing can be, and still is, world class. Like Steve Jobs' specific strengths transformed Apple, Alan Mullay's unique background, including engineering, manufacturing and organizational skills honed at Boeing, allowed Ford to weather the Great Recession and become a fierce world-wide competitor. The book does a good job telling the tale, keeping the reader interested, even though we know the current outcome. There's a little repetition and more than a bit of hero worship here, but on balance, I recommend the book.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It read like a well planned novel, but more powerful because it truly happened. The story of how getting past the greed and egos that totally govern business today can totally save a business. Adhering to the same principles of seeing the big picture that created Ford in the first place. It’s the story of how producing a quality product at a fair price actually succeeds with greater results and sustainability than businesses current approach of “selling” the customer then under delivering.