Business World

Ford Motor Co. US Chief Raj Nair departs abruptly after behavior probe

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DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. said on Wednesday that Raj Nair, its president for North America, was leaving the company immediatel­y after an internal investigat­ion found his behavior was “inconsiste­nt with the company’s code of conduct.”

Ford did not give any details on what that behavior entailed. A company spokesman said the review was launched in the past few weeks after Ford received a report of inappropri­ate behavior.

Nair’s departure comes after several high-profile business leaders and politician­s have quit or been fired in the past year following accusation­s of sexual harassment, with the social media movement known as #MeToo pressing for more accountabi­lity in corporate cultures.

“We made this decision after a thorough review and careful considerat­ion,” said Ford Chief Executive Jim Hackett in a statement. “Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values.”

As North American chief, Nair was responsibl­e for operations that generate about 90% of Ford’s global profits. Nair apologized, without elaboratin­g. “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,” Nair said in Ford’s statement.

The company is not investigat­ing other executives for similar cases, a Ford spokesman said.

Nair, 53, was appointed to his current position last May when Hackett became CEO of the no. 2 US automaker.

Nair previously served as Ford’s chief technical officer. He joined Ford in 1987 and rose through the automaker’s manufactur­ing and engineerin­g ranks to become head of global product developmen­t in 2015.

Nair stands to lose about $4.8 million worth of Ford restricted shares he was granted in May 2017 that would have vested had a remained with the company until May 2020.

In August, Ford agreed to pay up to $10.125 million to settle an investigat­ion into sex and race harassment at two plants in Chicago conducted by the US Equal Employment Opportunit­y Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC said female and AfricanAme­rican employees had been subjected to sexual and racial harassment and found the automaker retaliated against employees who complained about the harassment or discrimina­tion. —

 ??  ?? RAJ NAIR, Ford executive vice-president of global product developmen­t, speaks during the North American Internatio­nal Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, US on Jan. 9, 2017.
RAJ NAIR, Ford executive vice-president of global product developmen­t, speaks during the North American Internatio­nal Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, US on Jan. 9, 2017.

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