Former Ford CEO Mark Fields Discusses the Changing Auto Industry

Leaders Forum

The coming decades will see a sweeping transformation in the automotive industry that will spawn new business opportunities, Mark Fields, former CEO of the Ford Motor Company, told students at the Yale School of Management on October 12.

“You’re going to see even more change over the next 10 years than we’ve seen in the last 50,” Fields said, explaining that the growth of electric cars and the introduction of autonomous vehicles will remake the industry.

Fields spoke at Yale SOM as part of the Leaders Forum lecture series. Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies and Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management, moderated the discussion.

In a talked titled “Driving into the Future with No Road Maps: Smart Mobility and Smart Management,” Fields discussed the forces transforming the auto industry today and the potential risks and benefits that manufacturers need to weigh.

A widespread move from internal combustion engines to electric battery engines will continue, but very gradually, Fields said, with improving battery technology and government regulations curbing CO2 emissions pushing it along.

Fully autonomous, self-driving vehicles—despite recent hype—won’t be on the roads for at least 10 years, he added.

Fields also discussed his career trajectory and the types of challenges he has been drawn to professionally. He encouraged students to pursue their passion and to work for organizations with the right cultural fit. “Life’s too short to work with people you don’t really like or in an environment you don’t like,” he said

Driving into the Future with No Road Maps: Smart Mobility and Smart Management, Mark Fields

About the Event

Please join us on Thursday, October 12 for “Driving into the Future with No Road Maps: Smart Mobility and Smart Management,” a Leaders Forum event with Mark Fields, Former CEO, Ford Motor Company. \Fields will be joined in conversation by Jeff Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies and& Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management.

This event is open to the public.