Bill Ford Biography

Bill Ford is a prominent American businessman and is the chairman of Ford Motor Company. Go through this biography to learn more about his profile, childhood, life and timeline.

Bill Ford
Quick Facts

Birthday: May 3, 1957

Nationality: American

Famous: Vegans Automobile Industry

Age: 62 Years, 62 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Taurus

Also Known As: William Clay Ford Jr.

Born in: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Famous as: American businessman


Spouse/Ex-: Lisa Vanderzee

father: William Clay Ford Sr.

mother: Martha Firestone

siblings: Elizabeth Kontulis, Martha Morse, Sheila Hamp

City: Detroit, Michigan

U.S. State: Michigan

Notable Alumni: School Of Management

More Facts

education: MIT Sloan School of Management (1984), Princeton University (1979), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Hotchkiss School

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Bill Ford is an American entrepreneur and is the great-grandson of Henry Ford. He is the executive chairman of Ford Motor Company. Apart from his career, he is an environmentalist and has always been committed to developing environmentally friendly products and processes. His successes include founding the company’s first wildlife habitat at a plant location, and the first automotive plant in the world to use post-consumer materials in all of its plastic parts. He was also responsible for the company’s first business social corporate citizen report, outlining the economic, environmental and social impact of company products and operations around the world. He started his career in product development and held a variety of positions on his way up to reach where he is now. He transformed what was once a flaccid enterprise into a multi-million dollar company. Apart from his career, he is an avid football fan and is also the vice-chairman of the Detroit Lions in the NFL franchise.

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Bill Ford
Childhood & Early Life
  • William Clay ‘Bill’ Ford, Jr., was born to Martha Firestone and William Clay Ford, Sr., in Detroit, Michigan. He is the great-grandson of Henry Ford, the renowned American industrialist.
  • He studied at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut and then studied at Princeton University in 1979. He majored in history and was made the president of ‘The Ivy Club’. When he was in university, he was a member of the rugby team and he was an ardent football fan.
  • In 1979, he joined the ‘Ford Motor Company’ and initially worked with the product development team.
  • In 1984, he received an S.M. in Management as a Sloan Fellow from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
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  • In 1986, he worked with ‘Ford of Europe’, a subsidiary company of Ford Motor Company, as administrator of commercial vehicle promotion. The following year, he ran the Ford enterprise in Switzerland as the managing director and successfully managed to resuscitate the enterprise.
  • In 1988, he was made the vice president of Ford Truck Operations. The same year, he was made a part of the board of directors and eventually went on to lead two critical boards, finance and environment/public policy.
  • In 1990, he was made the director of business strategy for motorized operations. It was during this period that he also served as the general manager of the ‘climate control division’.
  • By the mid-90s, he was being considered to take over the position of chairman and CEO from Alex Trotman. Till 1995, he also served as the treasurer of the ‘Detroit Lions’, an NFL team and was also made the vice chairman, where he assumed accountability for most of the processes.
  • He became the new chairman of the Ford Motor Company in 1999. As the new chairman of the company, he focused on building the company’s fiscal record, and swelling the market of the brand outside the United States.
  • As Chairman, he displayed his commitment to environmental issues by deciding to produce a high-selling environmentally-friendly vehicle..
  • In 2001, he was given the added designation of CEO. He held the position of CEO until 2006, till he was named as the company’s executive chairman the same year. During his stint, the company’s profits soared.
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  • In the following years he proclaimed a reform for North American setups and by 2009, he upturned a $1.6 billion loss into profits the subsequent year.
  • In 2010, he announced the start of a strategic investment firm, Fontinalis Partners, with the resolve of capitalizing in groundbreaking companies. In the next three years, the company invested in a number of enterprises including ‘Masabi’, ‘Nano-C’, ‘Zagster’ and ‘ParkMe’ to name a few.
Awards & Achievements
  • He was inducted into the ‘Irish America magazine’s Hall of Fame’, in 2011.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • He married Lisa Vanderzee, with whom he has four children. The family currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • He has a black-belt in tae kwon do and is a vegan. He is also an avid fan of football as he currently heads the ‘Detroit Lions’ NFL franchise and also plays the guitar.
  • He has played competitive hockey with his company hockey team from 2006 to 2010 and has even participated in the USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships.
  • This prominent American businessman was highlighted in the Canadian-Irish docudrama, ‘Death or Canada’.

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Article Title
- Bill Ford Biography
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Last Updated
- January 08, 2018

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