Henry Ford III helped launch the new Ford GT.
Ever since Ford was founded by Henry Ford, multiple generations of the Ford family have had a presence at the company, continuing the family's legacy. Edsel Ford, the son of Henry Ford, took over as president of the company in 1919 until 1943. Edsel's son, Henry Ford II, then became CEO of Ford in 1945 and made a big push for the company to compete in Le Mans, leading to the creation of the legendary Ford GT40 that famously defeated Ferrari in Le Mans four years running.
Decades later, Henry Ford III, the great-great-grandson of Henry Ford, helped Ford return to Le Mans racing in 2016 with the new second-generation Ford GT. However, it's now the end of an era, because Henry Ford III has announced he is leaving the company effective from July 1.
According to an internal email seen by Automotive News, Henry Ford III will retire from his current role as Ford's director of investor relations but will remain on the board of directors. He feels that leaving his role at Ford will help him "carve out time to further broaden my perspective outside the company" and help him become a better director.
"After 15 years inside Ford, I believe that new external viewpoints will help me guide and support our great company with improved objectivity and an increased ability to constructively critique our strengths and weaknesses," he wrote. It isn't known who will replace his investor relations role.
Henry Ford III joined the company in 2006 and worked in a variety of roles including labor relations, product planning, purchasing, dealer relations and marketing for Ford Performance. He then joined the investor relations team in 2020. During his role as Global Marketing Manager for Ford Performance, Henry Ford III helped launch the new Ford GT and Mustang Shelby GT350.
"I have seen the magic that happens when we work together to deliver the products and services that our customers love," he wrote Tuesday. "Ford is in a position of great strength as we look toward the future, and I am eager to contribute and provide support from the board as you all execute on the Ford+ plan for growth and value creation, and build a highly successful company for all stakeholders."