DEARBORN, Mich. — In the latest appointment of a top-level executive to help turn the company around from its $5.45-billion loss last year, Ford Motor Co. on Monday announced that former Vice Chairman Allan Gilmour is rejoining the company as chief financial officer.
Gilmour, 67, retired from Ford in 1995 but has retained ties with the auto maker and with Chief Executive William Clay Ford Jr. through his work chairing Henry Ford Health Systems, a leading health-care provider in Michigan.
"Allan is one of the great assets of Ford Motor Co.," Ford told reporters at company headquarters. "He is renowned for understanding the business at all levels. He will have great credibility with all our audiences."
Gilmour replaces I. Martin Inglis, who was named group vice president for business strategy, including the Hertz rental car business owned by Ford, and mergers and acquisitions.
"This is a positive development given Gilmour's extensive experience at Ford," said auto industry analyst John Casesa of Merrill Lynch. "Gilmour's appointment is clever in that it adds much needed experience right now, and gives the company time to groom a successor."
Gilmour is one of a handful of openly gay senior executives in corporate America and is known for speaking his mind about Ford's business. He said Monday that the Ford Thunderbird, before its recent makeover and relaunch, "looked bad from any angle."
Gilmour owns a Ford-Chrysler dealership in St. Johnsbury, Vt., which he says he will continue to run.