P. M. BRIEFING : William Clay Ford Plan to Retire Told

From Times wire services

William Clay Ford, the last member of Ford Motor Co.'s founding family in a top-level executive post, may announce his retirement within the next two weeks, it was reported today.

The retirement of the last living grandson of founder Henry Ford as vice chairman would leave the company without a family member in a high-ranking executive position for the first time in history, the Wall Street Journal said. William Clay Ford will be 64 years old March 14. The newspaper said he likely will retire for personal and health reasons. "It's a speculative story, and we have nothing to say about it," Ford Motor Co. spokesman Tom Foote said. Ford family members control 40% of the company's voting stock.

Ford's son, William Clay Ford Jr., 31, and nephew Edsel B. Ford II, 40, son of the late Henry Ford II, are middle managers at Ford.

Ford, who had heart surgery last year, is the owner of the National Football League's Detroit Lions.

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