Nair oversaw high-profile vehicles like the GT, Mustang, & F-150

Raj Nair, executive vice president and president of Ford North America, as been fired over allegations of “inappropriate behavior,” Ford said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

An internal investigation found that “certain behavior by Nair was inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct.”

Jim Hackett, Ford President and CEO, said, “We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration. Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values.”

Nair’s actions or the nature of the inappropriate behavior was not released. His termination was effective Wednesday, February 22, 2018.

In an official statement published by Ford, Nair said, “I sincerely regret that there have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviors consistent with the principles that the Company and I have always espoused. I continue to have the utmost faith in the people of Ford Motor Company and wish them continued success in the future.”

Ford has yet to name Nair’s successor, though the wait isn’t expected to be long.

Continue reading for more information.

Why it Matters

Scandal Watch: Raj Nair Leaving Ford over "Inappropriate Behavior"
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Raj Nair has been with Ford Motor Company since 1987 where he served as a Body and Assembly Operations launch engineer

Raj Nair has been with Ford Motor Company since 1987 where he served as a Body and Assembly Operations launch engineer. Other the following years, he held various positions on more than 11 vehicle programs in 13 assembly plants.

Most recently, Nair oversaw the secretive research and development of the new 2018 Ford GT supercar. His other projects include the new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup and the current Mustang.

In other words, Nair was as solid a car guy as any corporate executive could be. Prior to his firing, his legacy was extremely impressive, having worked up through Ford ranks over 30 years to become a leading decision maker and ambassador for Ford’s performance and “Built Ford Tough” brand image.

Zero Tolerance Movement

Scandal Watch: Raj Nair Leaving Ford over "Inappropriate Behavior"
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Raj Nair’s removal from Ford is only the latest in a veritable social movement to oust anyone caught harassing or assaulting co-workers in on the job

Raj Nair’s removal from Ford is only the latest in a veritable social movement to oust anyone caught harassing or assaulting co-workers in on the job. From Hollywood stars to blue-collar workers, the #MeToo movement has been gaining traction. Whether it directly relates to Nair’s case is unknown, but the connection is possible.

Ford was even making headlines in December 2017 as it announced it would pay up to $10.1 million to settle a case of racial and sexual harassment involving workers at the Chicago Assembly Plant and Chicago Stamping Plant.

In that case, more than a dozen women came forward with detailed accounts of sexual harassment. Offenders were eventually fired or otherwise punished. Ford’s official statement said, “We take those claims very seriously and investigate them thoroughly. We have a comprehensive approach to prevent and address sexual harassment and discrimination at our facilities.”

Raj Nair’s Lack of Denial

Scandal Watch: Raj Nair Leaving Ford over "Inappropriate Behavior"
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I sincerely regret that there have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviors consistent with the principles that the Company and I have always espoused.

Nair apparently does not deny the claims of “inappropriate behavior,” as in his statement he said, “I sincerely regret that there have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviors consistent with the principles that the Company and I have always espoused.”

That is basically an admission of guilt.

While it is not known what Nair’s offenses are, it is clear Ford took a methodical approach to the situation rather than making a knee-jerk reaction. Ford CEO Jim Hackett’s statement said the decision was made “after a thorough review and careful consideration.”

It is unknown what Nair’s future holds, or whether he will continue serving on the board of trustees of Kettering University, his alma mater, where his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with an automotive specialty was earned in 1987.

References

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Source: Ford Motor Company

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