Recently, Ford President and CEO Mark Fields was invited to sit down with CNBC’s Jon Fortt, co-anchor of business news program Squawk Alley, for a candid chat on the Fortt Knox podcast about how the executive reached the powerful position he holds today.
After all, the path from youngest son of a Brooklyn couple in the early 1960s to chief executive of the world’s number-five automaker by volume is sure to contain a few kernels of wisdom.
Key to Fields’ success, he tells Fortt, is his tendency to seek out difficult situations and volunteer to solve them. “Always run to the fire,” is how he describes this philosophy. “Run to those really challenging situations or businesses that you can learn a lot, but also contribute a lot.”
That’s how Mark Fields was able to become CEO of Mazda – then partly owned by Ford Motor Company – by the time he was 38. From there, he went on to become Chairman of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group, which included the Lincoln, Mercury, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo brands. Soon after, he was named Executive Vice President of Ford Europe and Premiere Auto Group, before becoming Ford’s North American President and, finally, President and CEO of the global automotive company.
To hear more of what Mark Fields has to say about his path to success, listen to the latest installment of the weekly Fortt Knox podcast below.