It's been said that 70% of all major change initiatives fail. With those odds, the deck certainly was stacked against Alan Mulally when he took over a troubled Ford Motor Co. (IW 500/6) in September 2006.

As we all know by now, though, Mulally has led Ford from the brink of bankruptcy to profitability, respectability and stability -- without government bailout funds.

In the process, Mulally has become the face of the U.S. auto industry's renaissance, and has earned a spot in the 2011 IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame.

In a conversation with IndustryWeek earlier this month, Mulally reflected on his career at Ford and Boeing, and talked about the challenges and opportunities on the horizon for America's No. 2 automaker.

IW: Looking back at your 37-year career at Boeing, which of your achievements make you the proudest? [Prior to joining Ford in September 2006, Mulally served as president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, after progressing through a variety of significant engineering and program-management assignments.]

Mulally: "I reached out to everybody in the industry when I first arrived" at Ford.

AM: I'm just so honored and thankful to have been able to contribute to all the Boeing commercial airplanes -- the 707, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777 and the 787 -- and the fact that every one of those airplanes fundamentally changed the flying experience, all based on producing safe and efficient transportation enabling people to get together around our world.