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Gephart: Ford's Newest Board Member

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DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday that former U.S. House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Michigan utility chairman Anthony Earley Jr. have joined its board of directors.

The appointments are effective immediately. Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement that the automaker is fortunate to have the two leaders on its board at an important time in company history.

Gephardt, 68, served 14 terms in the House from Missouri. He currently runs the Gephardt Group, a consulting firm that helps companies compete globally, and serves as senior counsel and strategic adviser for DLA Piper Rudnick, a large law firm, according to Ford.

Gephardt also sits on the boards of auto supplier Dana Corp., U.S. Steel Corp., Spirit Aerosystems Holding Inc., Centene Corp. and Embarq Corp.

"Dick's distinguished record of public service and his recent experience helping companies and labor organizations find better ways to compete in the global economy make him an invaluable addition to Ford's Board," said Ford in a written statement.

The 59-year-old Earley is chairman and CEO of DTE Energy, which owns electric utility Detroit Edison and natural gas company Michigan Consolidated Gas.

"Tony is one of the most successful leaders in the utility industry and joins our Board at a time when automakers and utilities are working together to find ways to cooperate on the electrification of automobiles," Ford said. "He will also help us immeasurably as we deal with the serious issues of energy independence, energy security and sustainability."

Shares of Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford fell 9 cents, or 3 percent, to close at $2.77.

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