Ford fires NA president Raj Nair over 'inappropriate behavior'

Ismael LynchFeb 24, 2018

Raj Nair, ousted Wednesday as Ford Motor Co.'s president of North America, will lose a $5 million stock bonus given to him past year, as well as a number of other bonuses and awards, the automaker said Thursday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company did not say what the inappropriate behaviour was and provided no other details of the incident or incidents, but a slew of prominent Americans in the entertainment industry and corporate world have been felled by allegations of predatory sexual behaviour. The review determined certain behavior by Nair was inconsistent with the company's code of conduct, the company said in a news release.

CEO Jim Hackett said in a statement that Ford is "very fortunate to have an experienced and committed executive team in place driving every day to significantly strengthen our business while building toward our vision of becoming the world's most trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world". "On behalf of myself and the employees of Ford Motor Company, who condemn such behavior and regret any harassment as much as I do, I apologize".

As North American chief, Nair was responsible for operations that generate about 90 percent of Ford's global profits. He was previously head of global product development and chief technical officer.

Ford has promoted Kumar Galhotra to run its all-important North America business.

A spokesman for the US's second biggest carmaker said the company would not be commenting on the nature of Mr Nair's departure.

"It's been a revolving door at the top of Ford for the a year ago", Edmunds analyst Jessica Caldwell said. We heard from multiple sources Vahabzadeh was actually fired in early February after employees co-signed a letter to Ford's CEO James Hackett complaining about toxic work culture and poor employee retention.

Nair will keep his retirement benefits and health care, Ford said.

In August, Ford agreed to pay up to $10.125 million to settle an investigation into sex and race harassment at two plants in Chicago conducted by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A 25-year veteran of Ford Credit, McClelland, 48, has served in a variety of leadership positions, including most recently as executive vice president, Marketing and Asia Pacific. Since October 2016, Falotico has been group vice president and chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Credit Company. "The pressure is on Jim lay out a clear road ahead for Ford". The company's margins have fallen behind rivals General Motors Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

The timing of the most recent moves is likely driven by Mr. Nair's exit, which was announced late Wednesday.

Volume surged in extended trading, with more than five million shares changing hands to lead US consumer discretionary stocks.

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