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Scheele retires from Ford

Ford Motor Company president Nick Scheele, will retire in early 2005 after 38 years with Ford, the company said yesterday.

Jim Padilla, who became chief operating officer in April, will succeed Scheele and become a member of the board, the company said.

Ford vice-chairman Alan Gilmour will also retire, effective from February 1.

Scheele, 60, who has played a diminished role since a management reshuffle and is recovering from hip surgery, had been widely expected to retire.

"The time was right for me . . . I had already delayed retirement twice," he said. "The timing inside the company is good as well because we have got the next generation of management in place."

The British-born executive oversaw the restructuring program Ford launched in 2002, when the auto maker cut 35,000 jobs, or 10% of its work force.

"In the last three years I have helped get us back to a position which was difficult to envision some three years ago," Scheele said.


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