5:24 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Hear Mark Fields describe the day Ford's dysfunctional culture began to crumble

Credit Tracy Samilton
Telling the truth at Ford Motor Company used to mean you could get fired. Mark Fields tells the story of the day he tested Alan Mulally's insistence on honesty and transparency.

Mark Fields will become Ford's CEO on July 1, replacing Alan Mulally, who was hired in 2006.

The automaker was posting massive losses at the time.

One of Mulally's first moves was to insist that his executives honestly disclose problems at a required weekly meeting, using a red-coded slide for "big problem!"

That ran contrary to decades of cultural dysfunction at Ford, when telling the truth could mean getting fired.

Fields was the first to test if the new boss meant what he was saying.