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Ford Escorting Fired White-Collar Execs Off Premises

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Ford Motor Company has begun escorting fired white-collar workers from the premises. In a story in today’s Detroit Free Press company CEO Bill Ford is quoted “… it’s kinder to make our separations in this fashion ….” The company lost $907-million in April through June this year. At a meeting in June executives discussed cutting 30% of its white-collar jobs. Maybe this is just one of the Ford “better ideas.”

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About Neal Gardner

  • chris cittadini

    Hi i have a 2004 ford sport trac that has a crack in the body ,right next to the body bushing.When asked about noises under car i was told everything is normal or should i say there favorite quote”can not duplicate” i have had a real mechanic look it over and within 5 minutes i was pointed this out,So now i guess we all know why ford is loosing so much money ,i dont really blame there service dept as much as the manufact.for this type of poor production ,oh by the way they said they will weld it like new and it the crack is double its size by very next day,no more fords for me family or friends. I would rather walk

  • J.R.

    As a Ford “retiree” (and I use that term very loosely, having been forced out the door via medical retirement by two managers and a personnel rep who were doing some exec’s bidding when they couldn’t just dump me out on the street when I dared to stand up to these jackasses and refuse to sign off on testing results that were BAD), I see recall after recall of products that aren’t holding up in the “real world”; I see my old friends cower in fear of losing any job they have presently for any reason the brass deem appropriate; I see the stock price in the toilet… as it rates junk-bond status, because of management decisions/errors/bungling of years past that recently are appearing in vehicles that aren’t holding up, having been approved for sale that are not where they should be, quality-wise. (Quality USED to be Job 1, remember?)

    What has this got to do with things going on today? PLENTY. I was there the day Jacques Nasser got the boot, and heard the CHEERS of salaried employees who were terrified of the little despot who would be King. I was still employed when Alex Trotman, who ran Ford into the ground financially as well as set into motion the machine that grinds out inferior products wearing that big blue oval today (i.e., Focus, Explorer, etc.) that have NUMEROUS problems and safety recalls they knew about for years, but engineering ignored, all for the sake of building their own little empires- and getting their next promotion, as they fudged the test numbers over and over (yes, I saw this on a DAILY BASIS, and nobody there can deny it- IT HAPPENED, and the results are apparent today, four to seven years AFTER approval for Job 1 on these cars and SUVs), telling those of us who dared tell them there were problems, “YOU’RE NOT A TEAM PLAYER!”

    We were, indeed, “team players”. We just wanted to be on the WINNING TEAM. It was our job to find the defects, and it was THEIR JOB to fix them BEFORE the product hit the streets. Or, so it used to be…..

    So, the result of all the mismanagement and juggling of data, lies and manipulation over the years? People are suffering. Not necessarily the ones who were responsible for this mess, either. The CUSTOMERS are paying for it, as well as the employees that get blamed for the defects- guys on the line, mostly. Not the designers, or engineers who are responsible for cranking inferior pieces out to the factories.

    That, dear reader, is Ford’s most alarming legacy- blame the other guy/girl who will take the heat- in short, it’ll cover YOUR ass from the axe. Just claim YOU aren’t responsible, and be able to prove it (ISO 9000 doesn’t work, in other words).

    In the end? Ford is a mess. It’s going to STAY a mess, too, until Billy Jr. gets ALL the rats out of the nest and manages to actually get CAR PEOPLE back in charge, instead of the over-educated clowns who never held a job before in their life before going to Harvard or Northwestern….and gets REAL-WORLD PRODUCT TESTING back to make sure the name on the vehicle means something again.

    All the folks in Product Development who did the job at one time are gone now…retired…reassigned…or have been REPLACED BY OUTSOURCING (ala Jack Roush’s people, or by testing now done indoors in laboratories on simulators).

    I feel for the execs that got the boot. I really do. But, you know what? I’m not the least bit surprised. And, it’s not over, either. There’s more to come.


    Blame the Eurocrats Trotman and Nasser for this. And, blame the Ford family for ever giving these ARROGANT ASSES the reins of the company and allowing them to run it like it was their own personal playground. Alex “isn’t-the-chocolate-mousse-delicious” Trotman, a Scotish pompous ass, who alienated ALL salaried workers singlehandedly by his schemes for downsizing (like VRS, the 1995 debacle of Voluntary Resignation from Service- which was nothing but a sham to cover management’s marking who they wanted to terminate ASAP), among other strategies to reduce the salaried force….and Jacques “Jac the Knife” Nasser, whose claim to fame was to go into his next promotion and cut 50% of the entire department- whether it was necessary or not- just to strike terror in the people who served under him (this was a short man who had a bug up his wazoo and an agenda to make sure HE was THE BOSS, and FEARED, to make up for all the bullying he got as a boy in Australia, I’m certain)…these two are most responsible for the recruiting of college whiz kids who barely knew what a car was, other than PRNDL…and, I’ll bet very few actually could pump their own gas, let alone check the oil. These are the “engineers” that make up the vast majority of product development now. These are the “brains” behind the lighted mirrors, pop-out running boards on $60,000 Lincoln SUVs (that they can’t sell now, due to $2.50+ per gal. gasoline), and twelve cupholders in each vehicle- brains that could have solved the drivetrain problems that plague ALL Ford vehicles, as well as the FIRES from defective stop switches in the cruise controls! (I guess it’s more important for Muffy and Biff to be able to have a place to put that Big Gulp- I mean, if there’s a FIRE under the hood, they might be able to put it out with it….)

    No wonder Ford Motor Company is in the dumper.

    It runs from the top down, people… Ford is, indeed, bleeding money- their claims of medical insurance costs and other benefits being the main reason the company is in financial chaos – particularly for SALARIED WORKERS and RETIREES – simply isn’t true. Ford is the cause of its own debilitation by not having vehicles that will hold up like a Toyota or Honda…or even a Chrysler today…and has made wrong choice after wrong choice for YEARS, in product development as well as in its decisions (such as the bidding war with GM for Jaguar- paying $215 BILLION for a bankrupt English car company, because Alex Trotman wanted it; a company with a +90% defect rate, no less. Ford has lost MILLIONS on Jaguar- as they have Aston Martin, another dumb acquisition).

    Execs like Trotman get upwards of $18 MILLION when asked to leave peacefully. At least, Jac Nasser got FIRED publicly (what goes around, comes around?). Lord only knows how much HE got as he was escorted out the door. I’m sure he got a boatload of money- he’s not said a word since then about it. He’s surely crying all the way to the bank. That’s the way it goes when you’re a Ford man.

    Heads are going to continue to roll. Lots of ’em. It’s only just begun. Unfortunately, the little guys are the ones who will bear the brunt of this- not the “empire builders” and the architects most responsible for the mess Ford is in.

    In the end, I wish Billy Ford all the luck in the world. He’s damn sure gonna need it…..

  • Jason P

    The sad truth is many companies need to cut heads (costs) to become more profitable. Perhaps Ford is doing it in a draconian way, but you should also understand that these people are given financial packages to leave the company — so it isn’t quite as bad as it may sound. Having lived through cost cutting/employee cutting times at my company, it is better to make it swift — having to worry about losing your job is a huge distraction and can significantly impact worker morale. Better to simply get rid of the workers quickly, reorganize and refocus the remaining employees.

    Perhaps more importantly, cutting heads enables the company to be more profitable. It helps to employee more than 100,000 people, and perhaps 10x’s that amount indirectly through its supplier base and the local businesses in the communities in which the employees live.

    Without cutting heads, the company will be less profitable, and everyone who owns Ford stock, which is mostly owned by pension funds and mutual funds (like my 401k or personal mutual fund) would be worse off. So if Ford doesn’t become profitable, I lose, you lose, and all the grandmothers who depend on Ford’s dividends will lose too.

    Of course, there are some who own a lot of Ford stock and will get rich in the process, but don’t cut off your nose despite your face. At the end of the day, Henry Ford was the risk-taker who started an American industry. Why shouldn’t he or his heirs benefit from that risk taking. Do you penalize Bill Gates for being greedy, when he was the one who took the chance, dropped out of college for a dream to make it big? When was the last time that you quit your job/school to take a chance on a dream? For myself, that would have been too risky, which is why I just piled-on the degrees and hoped I could earn a competitive salary.

    Oh, by the way, Bill Ford, the current Chairman has declined his salary four out the past five years. Yes, he is already rich, but Bill Ford is making efforts that few Chairman make. And if you don’t pay Ford’s other top management high salaries, guess what, some other company will steal them (like Google stealing executives from Microsoft).

  • Bennett

    I’m with Aaman with “what’s the point of this post?”

    A short paragraph, no real opinion or analysis, no depth, not even worth reading, imo.

    It’s stuff like this that sweeps valid and interesting posts off the fresh 10 WAY before their time. Posts that someone actually put time and effort into, rather than this BS that does nothing for nobody.

    Better to leave this shallow “news” on your blog.

  • Nancy, do you have a job?

  • To me the distinction is that the ‘gold-collar jobs’ are still raking in their millions but the white collar jobs are going the way of the blue collar jobs. So yes, I would say there is a distinction.

    (and I’ve never heard of gold-collar, so can only assume that means CEO/stockholder, etc.)

  • I like gold-collar better than silk-collar, thank you

  • Nancy

    White collar or gold-collar, or whatever. It would seem so. If you’re management/an exec, but you aren’t of the level of exec. to have a golden parachute no matter how badly you do (aka that clown at Disney who got $14 million A MONTH), then you’re just not The Real Thang.

  • So now there’s a distinction between white-collar and silk-collar gold-collar jobs, hmmm

  • Nancy

    Oh – I was commenting on the side issue of the ultra rich trashing lives to take the last pennies out of people’s hands; not on execs being escorted anywhere. Altho I do think it’s a nice taste of their own medicine. Pity it won’t happen as well to the very top execs.

  • What’s the point of this post? That they should NOT escort fired execs off, or that they should NOT fire them?

    Either way – unless you’ve got alternatives that enable profitability…

  • Nancy

    That’s what makes it so vile: the ones at the top already are rolling in money, so much that it almost unimaginable, & they don’t care whose or how many lives they destroy while they scrape the very last penny possible into their own pockets. Its for this kind of thing that I think maybe a few hundred thousand of us SHOULD go postal, and make 1917 Russia look like a picnic: line up all the overpaid CEO & greedy-gut, callous boards & stock manipulators, shoot ’em, & string up their stinking carcasses as a warning to other over-zealous capitalists who go beyond reasonable in their quest for profit & personal gain.

  • Neal

    Oops. It’s not 30,000 but 30% of white-collar jobs. Slim consolation though.

  • I would think it’s more likely that the reason is so someone doesn’t go on a shooting rampage.

    From young childhood, we are told that our careers define us. It’s one of the first things Americans say to each other upon greeting “So what do you do?”

    We invest our lives in our work, and as Corporate America looks further and further into it’s own stockholders pockets to the expense of the rest, and people have their pensions cut, their pay cut, their jobs slashed and/or moved overseas so the multi-millionaires can make a few million more…it’s no wonder that more people don’t go postal than what we currently see.

    I’d be pretty afraid of having to tell 30,000 people their contributions are no longer required to assist the growth of my wealth either.