August 6, 2018 17:57 CET
DETROIT — A second high-profile employee has left Ford Motor over accusations of inappropriate behavior, Automotive News has learned.
Prakash Patel, Ford’s global director of program management and former lead product planner on the 50th anniversary Mustang, is no longer with the company, a Ford spokesman confirmed. The spokesman declined to comment further, citing a policy of not discussing “personnel matters.”
Patel was let go for acting inappropriately, a source with knowledge of the situation said, although the nature of the behavior remains unclear. Efforts to reach Patel for comment were unsuccessful.
Patel’s dismissal follows the February departure of Raj Nair, Ford’s president of North America, for behavior that Ford deemed “inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct.” Nair was Patel’s supervisor for a period of time.
As global director of program management, Patel was responsible for more than 1,200 employees around the world and handled more than $500 million worth of engineering and expense spending for major programs, including all launch-related activities, according to his LinkedIn profile, which as of Monday morning still listed him as employed by Ford.
Patel joined Ford as program manager of the Mustang in 2009. He gained notoriety closer to the 50th anniversary pony car’s launch date in 2014; at one point, Ford issued a press release profiling Patel as “the chef who seasons the Mustang recipe.”
He was so obsessed with the Mustang that his office wall included a chart showing every powertrain and other major option that has ever been available on the vehicle, Ford said.
A few years after the 50th anniversary Mustang’s launch, Patel worked as the strategy manager for Ford’s Lincoln luxury brand. He also served as Ford’s global business manager before starting his most recent role in January 2017.
You can reach Michael Martinez at email@example.com.