Bill Ford joined Ford Motor Company in 1979 as a product planning analyst. He held positions in manufacturing, sales, marketing, product development and finance. During the 1982 Ford-United Auto Workers labor talks, which launched the employee involvement movement that revolutionized the industry, he served on the company’s National Bargaining Team. In 1983 he began a 12-month course of study as an Alfred P. Sloan fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was elected chairman and managing director of Ford Switzerland in 1987.
A lifelong environmentalist, Ford is committed to developing products that benefit customers and society. Under his leadership, in 2000 Ford Motor Company published its first corporate citizenship report outlining the economic, environmental and social impact of company products and operations around the world. In 2004, the company completed the world’s largest brownfield reclamation project, the restoration of its Ford Rouge Center in metropolitan Detroit. He also championed the Escape Hybrid, the world’s first hybrid-electric sport utility vehicle.
Ford holds a bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University and a master of science degree in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also has been awarded an honorary doctor of environmental sciences and engineering degree from Koc University, an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Michigan, an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Bradley University and an honorary doctorate of economic science from University College Cork and the National University of Ireland.