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Exec’s resignation fuel’s speculation over Ford’s future

Ford Motor Company has announced that Robert Rubin, director and chairman of the executive committee and member of the office of the chairman of Citigroup, has resigned from the automaker's board of directors.

In citing a potential conflict of interest for the reason of his departure, Mr Rubin increased speculation that the automaker’s finance arm will be sold, with Citigroup currently advising Ford on the options it can take to reverse the company’s poor performance.

This means Citigroup could be extensively involved in any of the potential deals including the full or partial sale of Ford Motor Credit, sale of brands such as Jaguar and Land Rover, formation of an alliance with another automaker, or even privatization of the company.

In a letter to Bill Ford, Mr Rubin said: As the board undertakes its upcoming review of strategic options, Citigroup’s multi-faceted relationship with Ford could raise a question whether my relationship with Ford and Citigroup creates an appearance of conflict.

Commenting on Mr Rubin’s announcement, chairman and CEO Bill Ford said: He brought strategic thinking to every situation and has been a wise and generous counselor to me and to the company. However, I understand and respect Bob’s prudent decision to resign as we continue to explore future strategic options.