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Unraveling of Ford-Google partnership was a turning point for ex-Ford CEO Fields, says report

The unraveling of an autonomous driving technology partnership between Ford and Google was a key moment that led to the departure of former CEO Mark Fields, according to Automotive News.

The Silicon Valley tech giant had talked seriously with the Detroit automaker about the possibility of working together on self-driving cars, but Google executives did not care for Fields' desire to make a splash with Wall Street, the article said.

Once the deal began to unravel, Ford increasingly became aware of then-board member Jim Hackett's strong reputation among Silicon Valley executives, Automotive News reported.

Hackett would soon step down from the board to run Ford's Smart Mobility program, and then, just over a year later, would be named Fields' replacement as CEO.

"We have been and will continue working with many companies and discussing a variety of subjects related to our mobility plans," Ford told CNBC in a statement. "We keep these discussions private for obvious competitive reasons, and we do not comment on speculation."

Google was not immediately available for comment to CNBC.

Read the full story at Automotive News here.

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