Uh-oh, it’s happened again. That’s right, Ford has dismissed another senior executive over allegations of personal misconduct.
Automotive News reports that, according to sources familiar with the issue, Prakash Patel has left the company following “accusations of inappropriate behavior.” A spokesman confirmed that Patel was no longer employed by Ford, but wouldn’t comment further as it’s company policy not to discuss “personnel matters.”
In his capacity as Ford’s global director of program management, Patel was in charge of over a thousand employees and managed a budget of half a billion dollars.
The revelation follows the dismissal of Raj Nair, head of Ford’s North American operations, earlier this year on similar grounds. Like Nair, who directed the development of the current Ford GT, Patel was a performance vehicle enthusiast who joined the company in 2009 as lead product manager for the Mustang. Patel was described by his (now former) employer as “the chef who seasons the Mustang recipe,” and was said to have a massive chart on his office wall detailing every engine and major option ever offered on the pony car over the past half century since it was launched.
In between directing the Mustang program and overseeing all of the company’s program managers, Patel served as chief strategist for the Lincoln division, and as Ford’s global business manager.
The departures of Patel and Nair (this past February) speak to a change in corporate culture in Dearborn since Jim Hackett took over as chief executive a little over a year ago. Having ascended from running (and founding) Ford’s Smart Mobility division, Hackett has demonstrated a keen eye fixed on the automaker’s future. And that apparently includes creating a better working environment by jettisoning even the most senior officers over conduct issues that might have keen overlooked in the past.