The organized voice for every student at the University of Georgia.
After attending the CEO Forum, the best word to summarize Alan Mulally’s interview was transparent. He was humble, approachable, and most of all genuine. From the Ford Plan he keeps in his pocket with the morals and values of the company to his childhood quote, “It’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice”, it was evident that Mr. Mulally cares.
In conversation with USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider, Mulally described the transition from being CEO of Boeing Commercial Air to becoming CEO of Ford Motor Company. Surprisingly, Mullally drew many similarities between the two by stating that there are “more similarities in cars and planes than not”, especially in terms of safety.
At the Forum, various technological advancements were discussed, including Ford’s plan to increase connectivity between smartphones and vehicles. This technology enables drivers to navigate through voice recognition and closely echoes Ford’s “hands on the wheel, eyes on the road” mentality.
Mulally also discussed Ford’s future with alternate fuel sources by mentioning hydrogen gas tanks, biomass fuel, and eco boost technology. To improve current hybrid vehicles, Mulally proposed increasing the size of batteries to prolong electric cars.
Mulally specifically addressed UGA students who are members of the Generation Y population by addressing Ford’s new line of smaller cars that are highly affordable, yet have all of the luxury features of large cars. Mulally emphasized that Ford’s mission is to, “let Millenials Know You’re Listening”.
In the interview and the Q&A session following, Mulally discussed the current economic state and emphasized the importance of having a vision and working together collaboratively. He was proud to announce that Ford plans to hire 15,000 new employees next year and has also been growing rapidly in foreign markets.
Contrary to popular belief, Mr. Mulally does not drive a select group of high end luxury vehicles; instead he drives a different car every day. These cars are not only Ford vehicles, but vehicles of competitors such as Honda and Toyota. His explanation for doing the unspeakable: “We have to know our competition.”
As the Forum concluded, a final audience member asked how Mulally kept such a level head and did not become overwhelmed with the power and authority associated with a CEO position. Mulally responded simply, “I think of myself as serving the organization and serving others.”
This event was presented by the Student Government Association, University Union, Division of Student Affairs, Terry College of Business, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, College of Engineering and USA TODAY.
Writer: Alexsis Skeen; firstname.lastname@example.org