- REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid
- Fields will become a Senior Advisor at TPG Capital, a private equity firm.The former Ford CEO will work in TPG’s industrials group.TPG has over $73 billion under management.
Mark Fields, the former CEO of Ford who was ousted earlier this year after 28 years at the automaker, will join TPG Capital as a Senior Advisor, Business Insider has learned.
TPG is a private-equity and alternative asset giant with over $73 billion in assets under management and was started as the Texas Pacific Group in 1992 by David Bonderman, James Coulter, and William S. Price III. TPG has grown substantially from its first offices in Northern California to locations worldwide. Over the decades, it has invested in numerous companies and participated in high-profile leveraged buyouts.
Fields, 56, will focus on expanding the firm’s industrials practice. Investments in this sector have included airlines and private-jet companies; going forward, TPG wants to invest in logistics, packaging, and mobility. TPG’s first major investment was in bankrupt Continental Airlines in 1993, which according to firm resulted in a 1,000% return.
“New technology is driving change and creating opportunities for growth and value creation throughout business operations. That gives us the opportunity to rethink traditional industrial applications, such as supply chains, like never before,” Fields said.
“Having spent my career in an industry that was, and continues to be, on the leading edge of technology and disruption, I look forward to working with TPG to find new opportunities to create change and innovate throughout the industrial sector,” he added.
A long career at Ford
At Ford, Fields followed Alan Mulally, who saw the automaker through the financial crisis without suffering the government bailouts and bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler. Fields had developed Ford’s “Way Forward” strategic framework prior to Mulally’s arrival in 2006, and later Fields took over Mulally’s unifying “One Ford” vision when Mulally retired in 2014.
Ford was steadily profitable under Fields, made several investments and acquisitions in the tech sector, and in 2016, the company returned to the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in France with its GT race car and won on the 50th anniversary of its legendary 1966 victory.
But the carmaker’s stock price lagged the markets during his tenure, and in May of 2016 Fields stepped down and was replaced by former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett, who had been overseeing Ford’s Smart Mobility division and had served on Ford’s board.
Hackett recently concluded a 100-day review of Ford’s operations and is attempting to balance the company’s legacy business against the disruption posed by the likes of Tesla and Uber.
Fields, a Harvard Business School graduate, will be tackling some of the same challenges and opportunities he saw at Ford, but from the perspective of an investor and as someone who likes to dig into companies and improve them.
“Mark is an invaluable addition to our team as we pursue this sector and look to build growth-oriented, technology-enabled businesses,” Jack Daly, a Partner at TPG, said.