Former US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin has resigned from Ford’s board of directors citing fears over the appearance of a conflict of interest with his role as director and chairman of the executive committee at Citigroup.

The decision to step down came as the struggling motor giant is considering radical restructuring and reviewing its future strategy. At Ford Mr Rubin had taken a leading advisory role on company strategy.

In a letter to Bill Ford, Ford’s chief executive, Mr Rubin denied there was a conflict of interest.

“As the Board undertakes its upcoming review of strategic options, Citigroup’s multi-faceted relationship with Ford could raise a question whether my relationship with Ford and Citigroup creates an appearance of conflict,” he said.

“Although no conflict currently exists and while I would have liked to remain involved, I have with great regret concluded that I should resign from the Board at this time.”

Mr Ford said that Mr Rubin’s decision to resign was “prudent”.

The carmaker, which reported a first-half loss of $1.3bn, plans to unveil further measures by the end of September to reinforce its Way Forward turnaround plan.

It has also recently revealed that it plans to slash its US production for the year and that it would start targeting customers with poor credit histories in a desperate attempt to drive up sales.

Mr Rubin was Treasury Secretary in Bill Clinton’s administration from 1995 to 1999.

Ford shares rose 24 cents, or 3 per cent, to $8 in pre-market trading.

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