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Raj Nair, top Ford exec, is out amid questions about his behavior

Raj Nair, top Ford exec, ousted for 'inappropriate behavior'
by Alyssa Newcomb /

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A top executive at the Ford Motor Company is leaving the automaker after an internal investigation found that he had acted inappropriately at times, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

Ford's announcement said Raj Nair, the company's president for North America, would be leaving the company immediately.

Image: Raj Nair
Raj Nair in January.Sam VarnHagen / Ford Motor Company

Although the statement did not specify the behavior, the auto industry — like the fields of entertainment, media and politics — has come under scrutiny after allegations of widespread sexual misbehavior. In late December, days after The New York Times reported on decades of harassment claims at two Ford plants in Chicago, Jim Hackett, Ford’s chief executive, released an open letter apologizing for such behavior and promising to “do better.”

The announcement comes as the movement known as #MeToo has held people around the world, including celebrities, politicians and executives, accountable for their sexual misconduct.

Hackett, who took over as Ford president and CEO last May, said the decision to part ways with Nair came 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," Hackett said.

Related: Women in medicine await #MeToo reckoning

In a statement issued through Ford, Nair expressed "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 was promoted to president last June. Before that, he served as Ford's global head of product development and chief technical officer. His replacement hasn't yet been named.

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