On this day in 1982 Henry Ford II retires as president of Ford Motor Company, swearing he will no longer have any involvement with the family business. Ford II, grandson of Henry Ford, was named president of Ford following the sudden death of his father Edsel in 1945. This happened to be a fortunate misfortune for the Ford family and its automotive business. At the time Edsel passed away Ford Motor Company was losing millions of dollars per month. Ford II turned out to be a mastermind of mega business management and more or less saved the company. Through reorganization of manufacturing processes and staff, including firing Personnel Chief Harry Bennett, who got what he wanted through harsh methods and his anti-union stance had made Ford notorious for its bad labor relations, Ford II got things back on track.
Ford II was a major part of introducing the Thunderbird and the Mustang. However he also had a role in the development of the Edsel, which turned out to be a major flop. Even still, his ability to serve certainly ensured Ford would remain as one of the Big 3.