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Scheele denies Thursfield rift

Ford president Nick Scheele – already on the defensive over claims he pushed Ford ad business to a friend's agency – is at the centre of more controversy. This time over an alleged rift with Ford's purchasing chief and executive vice president David Thursfield.

In an internal email – forwarded to the New York Times – Mr Scheele wrote:

"Let me now address the scurrilous suggestions that David somehow orchestrated leaks to damage me. Such stories are really beneath contempt," he wrote, adding that "none of us can afford to blink, to pause, to stop" while the company struggles to return to profitability.

Mr. Scheele and Mr. Thursfield, two British citizens who serve as top deputies to Bill Ford Jnr, who is the chairman and chief executive, are known for differing styles – the former viewed as an affable 'consensus builder', the latter a cost cutter.

The alleged senior management clashed are not helpful to a company struggling to return to profitability after losing $6.4 billion in two years.

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