DETROIT William Clay Ford Jr. will replace Jacques Nasser as chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co., a company official told The Associated Press.
Nasser's departure, as well as other management changes, were to be announced today, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
William Ford Jr., 44, the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, started taking more operational control of the company in July. He and Nasser met regularly to review company operations.
For some weeks, Ford has been looking outside for a successor to Nasser, who had been under pressure for months because of Ford's loss of market share and tumbling profitability. The financially troubled company has been preparing a turnaround plan expected to be revealed in December.
Ford worked for the automaker for several years until he resigned in 1995 to assume the chairmanship of the board of directors' finance committee. He became board chairman in January 1999 when Alex Trotman retired as chairman and CEO, while Nasser was named president and CEO.
The move would return the top job to a Ford family member for the first time since Henry Ford II ran the company. Henry Ford II resigned as chief executive officer in 1979.