Business 100 - 2012

Ford, William Clay Jr.

William C. Ford, Jr./Ford Motor Company

As executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, William Clay Ford, Jr., is leading the company that put the world on wheels into the 21st century. Bill joined Ford in 1979 as a product planning analyst. He held a variety of domestic and international assignments in manufacturing, sales, marketing, product development and finance, before becoming vice president, Commercial Truck Vehicle Center in 1994.

He served as CEO from October 2001 to September 2006. A member of the board since 1988, he became chairman in 1999, and is also chairman of the board’s Environmental and Public Policy Committee. Bill is vice chairman of the Detroit Lions football team, chairman of the board of the Detroit Economic Club, and a member of the boards of The Henry Ford Foundation, the Henry Ford Health System, and eBay, Inc.

Bill holds a BA degree from Princeton and an MS degree in management as an Alfred P. Sloan fellow from MIT. He is the great-grandson of founder and innovator Henry Ford, who was the son of an Irish immigrant from Cork. In 2011, Bill was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame.