Friday, September 4, 2015

Film Extra and Company President – HF2…Day 247 of Bond 365

Henry Ford II
Henry Ford II
Born this day in 1917
Extra at the Nassau Casino in Thunderball

Henry Ford II was born in Detroit, Michigan and was the grandson of Henry Ford and son of Edsel Ford. He was surrounded by affluence and attended Yale University. He was often known as “HF2” or “ Hank the Deuce.”

HF2 served in the Navy during World War II and it was in 1943 that his father passed away. Ford could not take over the presidency of the automobile company; hence, his grandfather returned as head of the organization. The senior Ford no longer had the mental capacity to run the company, however he so anyway, until the end of the war. In fact, his inability to lead led to a loss of $10 million per month. I cannot even fathom that amount of money be lost ever, let alone in a month and over several consecutive months!

1949 Ford
After leaving the Navy, HF2 joined the management team at his family’s company and in two years, he became president of a company that was in decline. Without his father to groom him, Ford surrounded himself with seasoned executives and took on an aggressive management style. After four year at the helm, HF2 and a team of “Whiz Kids" he selected, developed the 1949 Ford, which brought the company back. 

HF2’s management of Ford was punctuated by several successes – Mustang and Fiesta – and just as many failures – can we say Edsel? He hired and fired Lee Iacocca. HF2 retired in 1982, but continued to have authority until his death in 1987.

HF2 is one of the few Bond alums to have only one acting credit their name, a James Bond film of course.

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