Raj Nair, Ford Motor Co’s president for North America is leaving the company soon after an internal investigation revealed his behaviour to be “inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct.” His removal comes after numerous prominent businessmen and politicians have been fired following the allegations of sexual misconduct with the #MeToo movement pushing for more answerability in the corporate structure.
Although Ford did not provide any details on the matter, a representative of the company said that the review was conducted after receiving reports of inappropriate behaviour.
Ford Chief Executive Jim Hackett said in a statement, “We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration. Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values.”
In the same statement, Nair apologized, “I sincerely regret that there have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviors consistent with the principles that the Company and I have always espoused.”
Raj Nair joined Ford in 1987 and was the company’s chief technical officer. He was appointed as the president in May last year after Jim Hackett was made CEO and was responsible for operations that generate around 90 percent of Ford’s global profits. As president, he was granted restricted shares worth $4.8 million which he now stands to lose.
Ford’s automotive profit margins have dwindled and it has been working to improve profitability. Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader, the online market for cars, said in an emailed commentary this comes “at a particularly bad time for Ford.”
“Investors and analysts have been unhappy with the seeming lack of a clear direction for Ford,” she said. “The pressure is on Jim Hackett… to lay out a clear road ahead for Ford.”
The company’s margins have fallen behind rivals General Motors Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.