Ford's North America chief exits after company finds 'inappropriate behavior'

Ford's North America chief exits after company finds 'inappropriate behavior'
Raj Nair became president of Ford's North America division in June. (Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

Ford Motor Co.'s head of North American operations is leaving the automaker immediately following an investigation into reports of "inappropriate behavior."

An internal probe by the U.S. automaker found that Raj Nair, an executive vice president, engaged in behavior that "was inconsistent with the company's code of conduct," according to a statement from the company.


"We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration," Jim Hackett, Ford's chief executive, said in the statement. "Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold those values."

Ford did not specify the behavior that spurred Nair's exit.

Nair is departing as sexual harassment scandals have brought down prominent men, most notably in Washington and within the entertainment and media industries. The #MeToo movement has yet to make a major mark on the male-dominated auto industry.

Brad Carroll, a Ford spokesman, declined to comment beyond the statement.

Ford makes most of its money in North America, the region Nair has overseen since June. He was head of the automaker's global product development and served as chief technical officer before a series of management changes that followed Hackett becoming CEO last year.

Nair joined Ford in 1987 as a mechanical engineer. He held numerous leadership positions in Europe, Asia and South America. Before being named head of global product development, Nair oversaw engineering for all Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

"I sincerely regret that there have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviors consistent with the principles that the company and I have always espoused," Nair, 53, said in the statement. "I continue to have the utmost faith in the people of Ford Motor Company and wish them continued success."

Ford has faced allegations of sexual misconduct on its factory floors. In August, the company agreed to pay as much as $10.1 million to settle sex and race harassment complaints following an investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Naughton writes for Bloomberg. The Associated Press was used in compiling this report.


2:30 p.m.: This article was updated with additional information about Nair's career.

This article was originally published at 2:10 p.m.