By Barry Eitel
Ford announced Wednesday that Raj Nair, the company’s President of North America, left because of “inappropriate behavior”.
The company said that a recent investigation into Nair’s behavior resulted in findings that some of his actions were not consistent with the company’s code of conduct, the automaker said.
“We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a statement. “Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values.”
Nair was promoted to the position in June of 2017, but had worked at Ford since 1987. He was also the company’s Chief Technology Officer and worked on its most ambitious tech projects like self-driving automobiles.
The company did not offer specifics on Nair’s behavior.
“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 said in a statement. “I continue to have the utmost faith in the people of Ford Motor Company and wish them continued success in the future.”
There have been several media reports over the past several months alleging misconduct at several Ford manufacturing plants in the United States, including an investigation by the New York Times. Women working at the plants described an environment rife with sexual harassment and bullying. After that report, Hackett sent a letter to Ford employees asking them to speak up if they witness misconduct in the work place.
Since allegations of sexual assault piled up against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein last year, dozens of high-profile men have resigned or have been fired because of sexual harassment or other misconduct allegations. Many of the firings have occurred in the entertainment industry, but the purge has spread elsewhere, too.
Just in the past week, the charity Save the Children announced it was investigating sexual misconduct allegations made against its former CEO and the CEO of apparel company Guess resigned following sexual harassment accusations. Last month, casino mogul Steve Wynn resigned from his company, Wynn Resorts, and his prominent position with the Republican National Committee after reports of decades of sexual harassment.
Ford said a replacement for Nair would be selected in the near future.