William Clay Ford, Director Emeritus of the Ford Motor Company and last surviving grand child of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, passed away yesterday at the age of 88. The notable industry leader was known for being instrumental in setting the company’s design direction, serving as the chairman of the Design Committee for 32 years.
Following is his timeline from the Ford Motor Company:
- Born March 14, 1925
- Married Martha Firestone on June 21, 1947
- Elected to Ford Motor Company board of directors on June 4, 1948
- Joined Ford Motor Company on the Sales and Advertising Staff in 1949 after graduating from Yale University
- After holding various management positions, appointed manager of Special Product Operations on July 17, 1952, and put in charge of a group of engineers and designers engaged in advanced planning of the Continental Mark II
- Named a vice president on May 12, 1953
- Served as vice president and general manager of the Continental Division from 1954 to 1956, when Continental operations were consolidated with the Lincoln Division.
- Assumed responsibility for corporate product planning and design in 1956
- Named first chairman of the newly formed Design Committee of the company’s Policy and Strategy Committee in 1957. Holds that post until his retirement from the company in 1989
- Became president of the Detroit Lions football team in 1961. Purchases the team in November 1963 and serves as its chairman until his death
- Appointed vice president – Product Design in 1973 Elected chairman of the Executive Committee and appointed a member of the
- Office of the Chief Executive in 1978 Elected vice chairman of the Board in 1980 Elected chairman of the Finance Committee in 1987 Retired as vice chairman of the Board in 1989 Retired as chairman of the Finance Committee in 1995 Retired as a director of Ford in May 2005 and was named Director Emeritus