Retired Ford Motor Co. Chairman Alex Trotman, who spearheaded a $5 billion restructuring to restore the automaker to profitability in the 1990s, has died. He was 71.
Trotman died Monday after a brief illness in Yorkshire in his native England, Ford said in a news release. The company said it did not know the cause of death.
Trotman became chief executive in 1993, two years after Ford posted a then-record loss of $2.3 billion. He directed the 1995 launch of Ford 2000, a restructuring plan that included the consolidation of the Dearborn-based automaker's North American and European operations.
Under Ford 2000, the company cut $5 billion in costs by having more vehicles share major components and by squeezing suppliers for lower prices.
"Alex was a great friend, colleague and leader of the extended family of Ford employees around the world," Ford Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford Jr. said in a news release. "He was the driving force behind a vast array of visionary changes in Ford Motor Company's global management and innovative products."
Trotman retired in 1999 after 43 years with Ford in a variety of positions throughout Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. He was succeeded by Jacques Nasser as chief executive and by Bill Ford Jr. as chairman.
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996.