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American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Companyby Bryce G. Hoffman
Synopses & Reviews
At the end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was just months away from running out of cash. With the auto industry careening toward ruin, Congress offered all three Detroit automakers a bailout. General Motors and Chrysler grabbed the taxpayer lifeline, but Ford decided to save itself. Under the leadership of charismatic CEO Alan Mulally, Ford had already put together a bold plan to unify its divided global operations, transform its lackluster product lineup, and overcome a dys-functional culture of infighting, backstabbing, and excuses. It was an extraordinary risk, but it was the only way the Ford family—America's last great industrial dynasty—could hold on to their company.
Mulally and his team pulled off one of the great-est comebacks in business history. As the rest of Detroit collapsed, Ford went from the brink of bankruptcy to being the most profitable automaker in the world.
American Icon is the compelling, behind-the-scenes account of that epic turnaround. On the verge of collapse, Ford went outside the auto industry and recruited Mulally—the man who had already saved Boeing from the deathblow of 9/11—to lead a sweeping restructuring of a company that had been unable to overcome decades of mismanage-ment and denial. Mulally applied the principles he developed at Boeing to streamline Ford's inefficient operations, force its fractious executives to work together as a team, and spark a product renaissance in Dearborn. He also convinced the United Auto Workers to join his fight for the soul of American manufacturing.
Bryce Hoffman reveals the untold story of the covert meetings with UAW leaders that led to a game-changing contract, Bill Ford's battle to hold the Ford family together when many were ready to cash in their stock and write off the company, and the secret alliance with Toyota and Honda that helped prop up the Amer-ican automotive supply base.
In one of the great management narratives of our time, Hoffman puts the reader inside the boardroom as Mulally uses his celebrated Business Plan Review meet-ings to drive change and force Ford to deal with the painful realities of the American auto industry.
Hoffman was granted unprecedented access to Ford's top executives and top-secret company documents. He spent countless hours with Alan Mulally, Bill Ford, the Ford family, former executives, labor leaders, and company directors. In the bestselling tradition of Too Big to Fail and The Big Short, American Icon is narrative nonfiction at its vivid and colorful best.
"When the government offered to bail out the big three Detroit automakers, Ford decided to go it alone and save the family business. Unpopular as it was at the time, the decision proved to be a win for the company, which turned things around and fostered astounding growth and success. Narrator Pete Larkin delivers an excellent performance that takes listeners on a tour of the crunch-time decisions that changed the company. Larkin's deep, steady, and confident delivery is well suited to this tale of corporate greed and business deals. His style, reminiscent of a classic newsman, easily hooks listeners — who will stick around to see how Ford managed the turnaround. A Crown Business hardcover. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A riveting, behind-the-scenes account of the near collapse of the Ford Motor Company, which in 2008 was close to bankruptcy, and CEO Alan Mulally's hard-fought effort and bold plan—including his decision not to take federal bailout money—to bring Ford back from the brink.
About the Author
Bryce G. Hoffman is an award-winning journalist who has covered the auto industry, both in the United States and around the world, since 1998. He began covering Ford Motor Company for the Detroit News in 2005. He has been honored by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, and others for his coverage of Ford and is one of the world's foremost authorities on the automaker. Bryce lives in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Pete Larkin, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner, has wide voice-over and on-camera experience and has worked in virtually all media. He was the public address announcer for the New York Mets from 1988 to 1993. He has worked as a disc jockey in Baltimore, Washington, and New York, including as host of WNEW-FM's highly rated "Saturday Morning Sixties" program. An award-winning on-camera host, Pete has worked on many industrial films for many of the country's top companies, corporations, and governmental agencies and has done hundreds of commercials, promos, and narrations. His theater experience includes a variety of dramatic, comedic, and musical roles.
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