Jacques Nasser, the man Ford employees called "Jack the Knife." Is this one man who headed Ford for less than 3 years, the man who nearly brought Ford Motor Company down? His efforts to diversify Ford's business and "streamline" management, cost Ford Motor dearly, in cash and talent.
Jacques Nasser was like a rock star, being courted by celebrities and entrepenour/industrialist alike. His vision was to bring Ford into the 21st century and by diversifying, isolate it from the turbulent auto market. I've read online, peoplle blaming Nasser for aquiring auto companies like Jaguar and Volvo, causing Ford to loose money. Well I would argue that those weren't really bad purchases, and that his real failing was his insistance on involvement of Dot Coms. Before he took over Ford Motor had $55 Billion in cash reserves, let me repeat $55 BILLION!!
After Jacques Nasser's spending spree, Ford lost $5 Billion and those cash reserves were gone.
Ford has been low, as it is now, but the company has always come back, and many times with a Ford leading the company. Edsel Ford saved the company his Father nearly destroyed, Henry Ford II helped bring the comapny back after WWII, and again in the 60's (with the help of men like Lee Iacoca) and now Bill Ford Jr. is handed the company in as precarious a position as it's ever been. Hopefully for the company, he can find the talent necessary to turn things around. Much has been said about Mark Fields, but at least he's not Jacques Nasser.