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Ford  Straight-faced: Bill Osborne faces the Australian media at this year's Melbourne motor show.

Straight-faced: Bill Osborne faces the Australian media at this year's Melbourne motor show.

Bill Osborne to leave the industry after only seven months as Ford Australia president

FORD and the motor industry at large have been rocked by the sudden resignation of Ford Australia president Bill Osborne.

After only seven months in the job, Mr Osborne will leave in September and returns to the United States, where he is taking up a new position outside the motor industry.

Coming within 24 hours of Ford’s announcement that it is cutting local production by 23 per cent and laying off up to 350 employees, Mr Osborne’s resignation was announced this afternoon.

Mr Osborne, 47, was only appointed in January of this year as a replacement for another American, Tom Gorman, who also left the industry.

Ford center imageHe leaves the industry after 31 years, having joined when he was 17 years old, and has worked by Chrysler and General Motors as well as Ford.

Mr Osborne told the media this afternoon that he has been given “a wonderful opportunity” to become the CEO of an independent company in the US, something he has dreamed about but did not expect to happen so early in his career.

Ford’s Asia-Pacific and Africa executive vice-president John Parker, who was advised if the only resignation this week, said that Mr Osborne’s replacement has not yet been selected and that an announcement will be made “in due course”.

“Bill has made significant contributions during his career with Ford Motor Company, and we wish him and his family all the best with his future endeavour,” said Mr Parker.

“Ford Australia will continue to play a vital role in the future success of Ford Motor Company and within the Asia-Pacific and Africa region, with greater input and alignment across all areas of the business, particularly product development, information technology, purchasing and marketing and sales.”

Mr Osborne said that he has initiated a new five-year business plan for Ford Australia since he came here that will see the company take a different course in the future, with more of a focus on small cars and exports.

He said it was a difficult decision to leave Ford Australia at such a time and that it was unrelated to the difficulties Ford and the motor industry in Australia are facing.

Read more:

Ford to slash production and jobs in Australia

Local Ford chief replaced

Ford boss bows out

Gorman says Ford is in “very good shape”

Record loss for FoMoCo

Think smaller, says Ford




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