Ford Motor Company’s (F) 34 directors and executive officers beneficially own 0.547% of Ford common stock and securities convertible into Ford common stock, according to an SEC filing listing ownership as of February 1, 2017. In addition, their collective ownership of 18,024,747 shares of Ford Class B Stock amounts to 25.44% outstanding Class B stock.
Detroit, Mich.-headquartered Ford Motor was launched out of a converted factory in 1903 by Henry Ford, with just $28,000 in cash from 12 investors. The $43.5 billion global auto giant sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and most luxury cars under its Lincoln brand. The long-time industry leader was one of the early pioneers of large-scale manufacturing and management of an industrial workforce, using moving assembly lines known around the world as “Fordism.” After surviving a rocky period during the Financial Crisis in the 2000s, nearly filing for bankruptcy, Ford has recovered and returned to profitability. (For more, see also: Ford Earnings Disappoints, but Revenue Beats.)
As America’s second largest U.S.-based automaker navigates a disrupted industry, with many foreseeing electric cars as the future of auto, Ford has doubled down on next-gen technology such as artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. In February 2017, Ford acquired majority ownership of Argo AI, an artificial intelligence startup. Soon after, the global corporation announced plans to cut its workforce in order to address its declining share price and boost profits. At large, Ford is targeting $3 billion in cost cuts and a 10% reduction in its salaried workforce in Asia and North America. The company’s former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Fields oversaw the development of Ford Smart Mobility, a unit responsible for experimenting with car-sharing programs, autonomous vehicle ventures and other programs as Ford heads off against Uber, Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) and other new players.
William Clay Ford Jr.
William Clay Ford Jr., the great-grandson of founder Henry Ford and current Executive Chairman, is the company’s largest shareholder with 6,035,025 in common stock, 96,490 in common stock units, and 12,509,545 in Class B stock, amounting to 17.66% of outstanding Class B stock.
“Bill” joined the company in 1979 as a product planning analyst. He was appointed to Executive Chairman in 1999 and became Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company in 2001, the first member of the Ford family to head the firm since the retirement of Henry Ford II in 1982. Bill assumed the position of President and Chief Operation Officer (COO) in 2006, five months later giving up his CEO position to Alan Mulally and continuing as Executive Chairman. The executive has been a long-time proponent of investing in fuel economy, driving Ford’s vision of becoming a player in the sustainable transportation space.
Bill is the Chairman of the Board of the Detroit Economic Club, a member of the Board of Trustees of The Henry Ford and Henry Ford Health System, and is Chairman of the New Michigan Initiative of Business Leaders for Michigan. He also served on the board of eBay Inc. (EBAY) from 2005 to 2015.
Former Ford CEO Mark Fields was pushed out of his leadership position at Ford in May 2017 after spending some 28 years with the automaker. With 4,653,818 in common stock and 9,144 in common stock units as of February 2017, Fields is Ford’s second largest shareholder.
The 56-year-old executive, who wanted to be an astronaut early on in life, joined Ford in 1989 and became its CEO in mid-2014. Previously, Fields served as the company’s COO and President of the Americas, where he developed “The Way Forward” plan. He worked around the world for the auto maker, and was named president and CEO of Mazda Motor Corp. in 2000 at age 38. In 2016, Fields’ pay jumped nearly 20% to $22.1 million while shares dipped about 14% over the same period. Shareholders lost faith in Fields, replacing him with 62-year-old Jim Hackett, the former head of Ford’s division that develops self-driving technology.
Edsel B. Ford II
Edsel Bryant Ford II is the great-grandson of Henry Ford and the son of Henry Ford II. He is the third largest shareholder with 2,526,882 in common stock, 141,577 in common stock units and 5,515,202 in Class B stock, or 7.78% of outstanding Class B stock.
He has been a member of Ford’s board of directors since 1988 and serves on the finance committee and sustainability and innovation committee. As a consultant to the global firm, he is active in company affairs and corporate dealer relations. Continuing his family’s aviation legacy, Edsel is the sole owner of Pentastar Aviation, a complete aviation services company. (For more, see also: Top 5 Companies Owned by Ford.)