United Kingdom

Ford elects its first female member of founding family to its board of directors

The great-great granddaughter of Henry Ford has made history after winning election to the automaker's influential board of directors.

Alexandra Ford English, 33, will be the first female member of the Ford family to serve on the 14-person board, and is set to begin immediately. 

The auto heiress has only been working in the family business for four years, but insiders hope she will be able to help reverse the fortunes of the struggling automaker. 

According to Bloomberg, Ford's shares have fallen 91 percent in the past 22 years, and 'net income has plunged as the company struggles with a global overhaul'. 

In 2018, Ford reported a net income of $7.7 billion. The following year they reported  net income of just $3.7 billion. 

Prior to joining the family business, Ford English worked in merchandising for Tory Burch and Gap. 

She holds an MBA from Harvard and an undergraduate degree from Stanford. 

Alexandra Ford English, the great-great granddaughter of Henry Ford,  has made history after winning election to the automaker's influential board of directors

According to Bloomberg, Ford's shares have fallen 91 percent in the past 22 years, and 'net income has plunged as the company struggles with a global overhaul'

Despite the current challenges to their business, Ford Motor appears interested in keeping members of its founding family in key positions across the company. 

Ford English's cousin, Henry Ford III, has also been appointed to the company's board of directors. 

The 40-year-old started out teaching high school math and history after graduating from Dartmouth University in the early 2000s. 

He has spent the past 15 years working for Ford, and there are high hopes he will also help turn around the company.  

'This is what they were destined for when they entered the company,' Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, associate dean at the Yale School of Management, told Bloomberg.  

Ford English's cousin, Henry Ford III,  40, has also been appointed to the company's board of directors.

The Ford Motor Co. headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan is pictured 

However, not everyone is impressed with the two new appointments, saying that the nepotism presents a risk to investors. 

'That's why we don't have Kings and Queens anymore - it's a roll of the genetic dice,' said Nell Minow, vice chair with shareholder advocacy firm ValueEdge, told Bloomberg. 

Ford English's father, Bill Ford Jr., is the current chairman of Ford Motor, a position he has held since 1999. 

He has an estimated net worth of $1 billion.

Ford English's father, Bill Ford Jr., is the current chairman of Ford Motor, a position he has held since 1999. He has an estimated net worth of $1 billion

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