DETROIT (Oct. 30)—Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. will replace Jacques Nasser as chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co., according to Automotive News. The auto maker will announce today that Nasser, 53, will leave the company. In addition, Nick Scheele, 57, currently group vice president for North America, will become chief operating officer of Ford, and Jim Padilla, 55, group vice president for manufacturing and quality, will take over Scheele´s job as head of North America. Scheele—who once spoke at a Rubber Manufacturers Association meeting—recently moved to North America after a brief stint as head of Ford Europe. William Ford is the son of William Clay Ford Sr., who is a grandson of company founder Henry Ford and brother of former chairman and CEO the late Henry Ford II. For some weeks, Ford had been looking outside for a successor to Nasser, who had been under pressure for months for Ford´s loss of market share and tumbling profitability. Nasser defended the company in hearings over the Firestone tire recall, placing all blame on Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.