While he's been president of Ford's operations in North and South America, he hasn't done his job in a vacuum. Mulally has succeeded in tearing down many of the fiefdoms that used to dominate the leadership at Ford. Yes, like any large company, there are still territorial battles but it's far less dysfunctional than it used to be.
That's a tribute to Mulally and a primary reason Wall Street is comfortable with Fields. The good news for investors is that if, and when Fields take over Ford, he's not likely to change how the company operates.
The big challenge at Ford remains the mounting losses in Europe. They're already more than $500 million this year and could eventually reach $1.5 billion this year. (Read More: Ford CEO Mulally Plots Europe Comeback.)
And That is unlikely to change, even if Mark Fields takes a greater role at Ford.
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-By CNBC's Phil LeBeau
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