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Former Ford boss dies

Alex Trotman, the former Ford Motor Company chairman and chief executive officer, who presided over a massive company reorganization and the ascension of Bill Ford Jr. to become the most powerful member of the automaker's ruling family, has died at his home in Yorkshire after a brief illness.

He was 71.

The English-born, Scottish-educated Trotman was at the helm from late 1993 until the end of 1998. During that period, Ford became the most profitable carmaker in the world, making nearly $7 billion - more than any company had earned in a year at that point - in 1997.

"Alex was a great friend, colleague and leader of the extended family of Ford employees around the world," Bill Ford said in a statement issued today. "He was the driving force behind a vast array of visionary changes in Ford Motor Co.'s global management and innovative products. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him."

Trotman worked at Ford for 43 years after joining Ford of Britain as a student trainee in 1955, following service as a flying officer-navigator in the Royal Air Force.

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