In the July/August 2010 issue of Super Lawyers — Corporate Counsel Edition, our cover featured David Leitch, general counsel of Ford Motor Co. Leitch, who was chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration on 9/11, and before he moved to his position at Ford, worked with his legal team to pull the company through the recession that greatly affected its two U.S. competitors, General Motors and Chrysler. After facing Ford’s largest annual loss in 2006 ($12.7 billion), Leitch made major changes:
“The main thing we did was identify the issues facing us in a clear-headed way and act decisively to address those issues before it was too late,” he says. “The other thing that we did was to change our company so we were more focused on our core business, to right-size our business for the market we actually had. We sold several brands: Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin. And we cut a lot of people from our rolls, salaried and hourly. We shrunk the company so we could preserve our resources and focus on our core, main brands. Although it was very painful, we thought it was necessary. And it proved to be successful.”
The company reported a full-year profit for 2009, and by early 2010, share prices were up significantly.
Read the entire profile here.