July 18, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Nick Scheele, 70

Ex-COO led Ford through 'critical time'

Mr. Scheele (Wieck)

Nick Scheele, president and chief operating officer of Ford Motor Co. from 2001 to 2005, and the former chairman and CEO of Ford-owned Jaguar Cars Ltd., died Friday, the company said.

He was 70.

In his nearly four decades with the Dearborn automaker, Scheele worked in a number of roles. He began in 1966 in several purchasing appointments in Ford’s British and European operations before moving to the U.S. in 1978. In 1988, he became president of Ford in Mexico.

He was chairman and CEO of Jaguar from 1992 through 1999.

He was chairman, Ford of Europe, from January 2000 through July 2001 before becoming group vice president, Ford North America, in August 2001. He became COO of Ford Motor Co. in October of that year.

“Nick Scheele was an outstanding leader whose global experience and passion for our products served Ford Motor Company at a critical time,” Bill Ford, the company’s Executive Chairman, said in a statement. “His impressive career spanned more than 38 years, including three years as our president and chief operating officer working alongside me. Not only did Nick help us overcome many challenges at the time, he mended relationships with our dealers, our suppliers and our employees, and set the stage for many of today’s leaders who are moving us forward. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time.”

After his retirement, Scheele was on a number of company boards. He was senior advisor to Crestview Partners, chairman of the board of Stackpole International, chairman of Key Safety Systems, chairman of Grupo Metalsa SA de CV, board member of British American Tobacco and board member of Reynolds American Inc.

In 2001 Scheele was awarded a knighthood by Britain for his services to British exports.

Scheele is survived by his wife, Ros; children Paul, Hannah and Jim; and five grandchildren.

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