Philip Caldwell, 93, retired chairman of Ford Motor Company, died on July 10 at home as a result of complications from a stroke. The following statement is attributable to Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company.
“Philip Caldwell had a remarkable impact at Ford Motor Company over a span of more than 30 years. Serving as CEO and later as Chairman of the Board of Directors, he helped guide the company through a difficult turnaround in the 1980s and drove the introductions of ground-breaking products around the globe. His dedication and relentless passion for quality always will be hallmarks of his legacy at Ford. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
- Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company
Pictured with the 1984 Ford Tempo and Mercury Topaz are the four members of the Office of the Chief Executive – (from left) Board Chairman Philip Caldwell, Executive Vice President Will M. Caldwell, President Donald E. Petersen and Vice Chairman William C. Ford.
Philip Caldwell Biography
Philip Caldwell is a former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company.
Succeeding Henry Ford II, Mr. Caldwell became chief executive officer in October 1979, and chairman of the board in March 1980. He retired from the company on Feb. 1, 1985, and from the Board of Directors on May 10, 1990.
Following his retirement from the company, he became senior managing director of Shearson Lehman Brothers Inc. on May 1, 1985.
Mr. Caldwell had a diversified, 32-year career with Ford including senior management responsibilities for automotive and truck operations in North America and for the company’s international activities.
Mr. Caldwell’s early managerial experience at Ford spanned purchasing, engineering, product planning and manufacturing. He was elected a vice president of Ford Motor Company and appointed general manager of Truck Operations for North America in 1968. In 1970, he was named president of Philco-Ford Corporation, a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. A year later, he was appointed vice president in charge of the Manufacturing Group for Ford North American Automotive Operations.
Mr. Caldwell was elected chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Ford of Europe Incorporated in July 1972.
The following year he was elected a director of the company and executive vice president – Ford International Automotive Operations, with responsibility for all automotive operations outside the United States and Canada.
He was elected vice chairman of the board of Ford Motor Company in April 1977. He was elected vice chairman, president and deputy chief executive officer in October 1978, and became president and chief executive office on Oct. 1, 1979. He became chairman of the board and chief executive officer on March 13, 1980.
Prior to joining Ford in 1953, he had a been a civilian executive the Navy Department in Washington, D.C., for seven years, following active service as a naval officer during World War II. As deputy director of the Procurement Policy Division, he was the Navy’s top civilian professional in procurement. He was a charter member and chairman of the committee that wrote the original Armed Services Procurement Regulations.
A native of Ohio, Mr. Caldwell was graduated from Muskingum College in 1940 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, and in 1942 received a master of business administration degree from the Harvard Business School.
He received honorary degrees from Muskingum College (1974), Upper Iowa University (1978), Boston University (1979), Eastern Michigan University (1979), Miami University (1980), Davidson College (1982), Lawrence Institute of Technology (1984), Ohio University (1984), and the University of Michigan (1984).
In 1950, he was the first recipient of the William A. Jump Memorial Award, given to the federal government employee under 32 years of age in the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the government judged to be most outstanding in public administration. He received a Meritorious Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Navy in 1953. He also received the International Executive of the year Award from the School of Management, Brigham Young University (1983). The Michigan Association of Broadcasters honored him with “The Outstanding Citizen of the Year” award in 1984. Mr. Caldwell also was presented the “Business Statesman Award” by the Harvard Business School Club of New York in 1984 and was the recipient of the “Automotive Industry Leader of the Year” award from the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1984. He was honored by the American Academy of Achievement in 1984 with the “Golden Plate award,” and by the Harvard Business School Club of Columbus, Ohio, with the “Businessman of the year” award in 1984. Automotive Industries magazine named him “1985 Man of the Year” and presented him with the career Achievement Award in 1985. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the national chapter of Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha, an honorary debate fraternity, in 1985. The Detroit Area Council of The Boy Scouts of America presented him with the Good Scout Award for outstanding contribution to community and leadership in 1985.