Ford: Not Mulling Bankruptcy; CFO Retires

Ford Motorexecutives told CNBC that the company is not considering bankruptcy protection as an option, and the decline in its stock price won't hurt its business plan.


These people, who wished to not be identified, said bankruptcy is not even under discussion, and the company has sufficient liquidity.

General Motors earlier in the day issued a statement denying it is considering a bankruptcy filing.

Ford said on Friday that Chief Financial Officer Don Leclair will retire effective November 1 and be replaced by the executive credited with leading the turnaround of its European operations.

The retirement comes at a time when Ford's stock is trading at a 26-year low and marks the first major leadership change at the company since it announced that it would step up the pace of its cost-cutting plans.

Leclair, 56, has served as CFO since 2003 and leaves Ford after 32 years. He will be succeeded by Lewis Booth, 59, who has been leading Ford's European operations and is seen as a potential successor to Chief Executive Alan Mulally.

Leclair was also the architect of Ford's $23 billion-plus borrowing initiative in late 2006 that executives and analysts have credited as giving it an important cash infusion at a time when U.S. auto industry sales have plunged to a 15-year low.

Ford pledged essentially all of its remaining assets to complete the loan, including its familiar blue oval logo.

Booth was named to lead Ford of Europe in 2005 and had served as leader of the company's former premier auto group that included the Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover brands that were sold off as well as its current Volvo brand.

(Ford CEO rules out bankruptcy. Watch the accompanying video for more...)

Ford also named John Fleming, 57, executive vice president, chairman and CEO of Ford Europe to succeed Booth. Fleming will report directly to Mulally.

—CNBC's Phil LeBeau and Reuters contributed to this story.