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Ford sets news conference for 9am ET, CEO to be confirmed - CNBC

May 1 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co said it would hold a news conference at 9 a.m. Eastern (1300 GMT), at which CNBC reported it would confirm the appointment of Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields as its new chief executive.

A person familiar with the succession plan told Reuters last month that Ford would soon name Fields to succeed Alan Mulally.

Fields, 53, was named COO in December 2012 and has been seen as Mulally's successor.

Analysts say Fields will inherit a much stronger company than Mulally did, one with a highly profitable North American operation underpinned by the top-selling F-150 large pickup truck.

The company has enjoyed a growing share of China's market, the world's largest; and a nascent recovery in Europe.

(Writing by Rodney Joyce; Editing by Robin Paxton)