Ford CEO Alan Mulally to retire on July 1; to be succeeded by Mark Fields

Ford CEO Alan Mulally to retire on July 1; to be succeeded by Mark FieldsIn an official announcement made on Thursday, bigwig automaker Ford Motor said that the company's CEO, Alan R. Mulally, would retire July 1, 2014. Mulally's retirement, which was expected this year, would end the executive's spectacular stint as the CEO since joining Ford in 2006, when the automaker was struggling for survival.

Announcing Mulally's imminent retirement in July, Ford said that the new CEO of the company will be 25-year Ford veteran Mark Fields, who has played a crucial role in the turnaround of the once-struggling automaker.

It was being widely speculated that Fields would succeed Mulally as the new CEO of Ford, especially after his elevation as the company's Chief Operating Officer two years back.

Meanwhile, under Mulally's headship, Ford underwent a massive restructuring. The company also resumed paying a dividend, and reported a series of extremely profitable quarters. However, though Ford's stock has increased two-fold, from around $8 when Mulally took over in 2006, it has hovered at about $18 for over two years.

In the opinion of industry experts and analysts, Ford's stock will likely witness a growth if Fields moves forward with Mulally's plans for key new vehicles, as well as efforts to reverse losses in Europe and South America and keep growing the company's business in Asia.

About Ford's projected performance next year, Morningstar analyst David Whiston said that the company is "set up for a really nice 2015;" and added: "The table's being set for a really strong performance in the U. S., Europe and China next year."