James Padilla, President and COO of Ford Motor Co., to Deliver Business Hall of Fame Keynote Address at UA
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – James J. Padilla, president and chief operating officer of Ford Motor Co. and a member of the company’s board of directors, will deliver the keynote address at the 2005 Alabama Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony Thursday, Oct. 6. The black-tie dinner and induction ceremony will be held at the Bryant Conference Center on The University of Alabama campus beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Inductees for 2005 are:
- Col. William Tandy Barrett of Tuscaloosa (deceased), military hero and one of the founders of Northington Laundry;
- James Stanley Mackin of Birmingham, retired chief executive officer of Regions Financial Corp.;
- Charles Caldwell Marks of Birmingham, co-founder of Motion Industries and instrumental in the founding of BE&K, a Birmingham-based, top construction company;
- Mark C. Smith of Huntsville, co-founder of Universal Data Systems (UDS);
- John Alexander Williamson (deceased)of Birmingham, founder and chairman of Key-Royal Automotive, CARS Inc., an early pioneer in the integration of computers and technology in the automotive business, and several other businesses.
This is the 32nd anniversary of the event. More than 110 prominent business leaders have been inducted, and the walls of the Hall of Fame room in Bidgood Hall on the UA campus, where their embossed likenesses are on plaques, is a veritable who’s who of business.
Padilla joins a long list of nationally prominent speakers that includes last year’s speaker, Don Logan, chairman of Time Warner’s Media and Communication Group.
Other past speakers include author and lecturer William F. Buckley, U.S. Sen. John Tower, U.S. Sen. John Glenn, former Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole, former Vice President Dan Quayle, former Chief of Staff for George Bush John H. Sununu, Leo Mullin, chairman and CEO of Delta Air Lines, and Samuel DiPiazza Jr., global chief executive officer for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Padilla is responsible for Ford’s global automotive business, overseeing marketing, manufacturing, engineering and other operations in more than 200 markets with 327,000 employees.
Padilla, 58, had been chief operating officer and chairman of Automotive Operations since April 2004. Prior to that appointment, Padilla was executive vice president of the company, president of the Americas. In that role, he was responsible for all operations in the development, manufacturing, marketing and sales of Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America. He was appointed president of North American operations in 2002 and added oversight of South America in 2003.
From 2001 to 2002, he was group vice president, North America. He was named group vice president, Global Manufacturing in 1999 and added the Quality organization in 2001.
Padilla joined Ford in 1966, beginning his career as a quality control engineer. In 1976, he accepted the first of a series of management positions in product engineering and manufacturing. These included manufacturing operations manager for the Ford Escort and Mercury Tracer, Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique, and Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable car lines. He also worked as director, Small Car Segment, Car Product Development.
From 1992 to 1994, Padilla served as director of engineering and manufacturing for Jaguar Cars Ltd. during its critical turnaround period. From 1994 to November 1996, Padilla was director of performance luxury vehicle lines, overseeing the successful launches of Jaguar XJ series, the Jaguar XK-8 and the world-class AJ26 engine, Aston-Martin DB-7, Jaguar S-Type and Lincoln LS.
From November 1996 through December 1998, he served as president of Ford South American Operations, where he was responsible for restructuring the company’s operations after the breakup of Autolatina, a joint venture with Volkswagen.
Padilla was born in Detroit. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Detroit.
He was a White House Fellow and served as special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in 1978 and 1979. In 2001, he was named a Fellow by the National Academy of Engineering.
Padilla is a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce Manufacturing Council. The 12-member council of manufacturing leaders from across U.S. industry works closely with the commerce secretary in developing policies that will help U.S. manufacturers succeed in the global marketplace.
In June 2004, Padilla was honored by the government of Mexico with the Ohtli Award, the highest recognition that can be bestowed on a person of Mexican descent living outside the country. Mexican President Vicente Fox participated in the ceremony where Padilla received the award in Lansing, Mich.
Editor’s note: Head shot of James Padilla available via e-mail at email@example.com
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.
CONTACT: Bill Gerdes, Director of Media Relations, Culverhouse College of Commerce, 205/348-8318, firstname.lastname@example.org