Ford Motor Co shuffled its management team on Thursday, promoting longtime executive Mark Fields to chief operating officer, and said its chief executive officer, Alan Mulally, would stay on through 2014.

As COO, Fields will be responsible for all business operations, while Mulally will continue to develop his "One Ford" strategy.

"We are fortunate to have Alan's continued leadership as well as talented senior leaders throughout our company who are developing and working together and delivering on our plan," Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement.

Joe Hinrichs, who currently leads Ford's operations in Asia and Africa, will take Fields' former role as head of the Americas. Fields was named to this position in October 2005.

The plans were laid out in a 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) conference call on Thursday.

Ford's board in recent months has been considering plans for potential successors to Mulally, 67, with Fields widely considered the front runner. The move to promote Fields to COO was widely seen as a way to groom him for the eventual CEO role.