Alan Mulally and Google, the odd (odd?) couple?

Alan Mulally

Does a successful manager of the mechanical sector occupy a position in the board of one of the giants of internet?

The alliance may seem unusual but maybe it’s not so much!

The manager transferring from a sector to another aren’t infrequent, indeed: who is writing, for instance, saw a manager transferred from the beverage sector to the publishing industry.

Not surprising then as a top manager can find a place on the board of Google’s Audit Committee after having worked in Boeing and Ford.

The matter however deserves some in-depth analysis that the simple (and simplistic) consideration: “a good manager can be successful in all fields”, because Alan Mulally not only had declared that he would stay in Ford throughout 2014 but had been indicated as one of the (few) candidate to succeed Steve Ballmer at Microsoft, position then refused.

A first possible reason is that Alan Mulally keep intact, even if he is 69 years old, his reputation as an innovator (he introduced Ford to new technologies) and probably Google is one of the best place for those who wish to experiment with new products and ways, even if mostly “intangibles” such as pieces of software, services and operating system.

Actually Big G really wants, as it were, hardware, in the real nature of the word: just think about Google TV, Google Glass and cars.
Is it possible that at Mountain View they are thinking to build a plant or to take over some car maker in difficulty (there would be more than one)? On the other hand Google’s interest for the automotive is undeniable.


It is in fact difficult to think that when Google decided to enter the field of electronic map he thought to open its “window as big as the world” just to mobile phones and not to vehicles.

The ever increasing quantities of electronics and connectivity of vehicles also open up new spaces for “non-traditional” manufacturers and suppliers of the automotive.

Let’s consider the digitization of photography, which has enable brand of consumer electronics such as Panasonic, Samsung and Sony (maybe after buying brand involved in the field of optics) to enter the imagining industry.

Google has already presented a couple of prototypes of autonomous driving car which obviously draw liberally from the set of services of the brand.

Ford has a long experience in the car connected to the Web, having sold several million vehicles with the Sync, a platform that, through the access to the mobile network, allows not only the integration of the telephone functions of smartphones, but also the implementation of related interactive services such as Internet Radio, the weather news, stock market and local searches.

It is no mystery that the industrialized countries are experiencing almost the saturation of the market for traditional mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets, and according to many analysts, vehicles will be the next mobile devices to colonize.

After all little time has elapsed since Google introduced Android Auto – an alliance with the participation of Ford – and the marketing dept of the car maker now considers the compliance of the dealers site to criteria that Google considers favorable – in the obtaining good results in positioning during researches on the Internet – one of the variables involved.

If we add the fact that many automotive brands take part in Google Adwords (financing the purchase of keywords) so that, searching on the web a car or a brand, in the pages of the results there will be, among the “sponsored ads”, even and especially those of local dealers, we better understand the meaning of the arrival of a Prince of cars like Allan Mulally at the court of King Google.

Translated by Federica Izzo

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