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Bill Ford moves on backbiting

Ford chairman Bill Ford has called in 'executive coaches' in a bid to halt the damaging top-level public quarrels which he believes have been an unnecessary distraction from the company's restructuring efforts.

The coaches will attempt to find ways for senior directors to work more effectively as part of a team, as well as listen to their concerns in a non-judgmental environment.

The alleged backbiting began in March when chief operating officer Sir Nick Scheele was forced by the Board to climb down over his ruling that all Ford advertising and marketing be diverted to WPP, Sir Martin Sorrell's British-based media company - and Scheele's son works at WPP's New York office on non-Ford accounts.

The move sparked rumours of manoeuvrings by his arch-rival David Thursfield, a Ford executive vice-president in charge of international operations.

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