Top Ford executive Raj Nair out

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22 named company insider Kumar Galhotra as head of its North American operations, filling the gap left by the abrupt departure of Raj Nair after an internal investigation uncovered "inappropriate behavior" by the executive.

In exchange for those benefits, Nair signed away his right to sue the company and agreed to "cooperate with any future company investigations and litigation", the filing said.

According to Reuters, Mr Nair stands to lose about $US4.8 million worth of Ford restricted shares had he remained with the company until May 2020.

Nair, 53, was among a handful of top Ford executives who previous year received a retention bonus valued at $5 million if he stayed through the end of the decade.

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Most recently, he was at the helm of Lincoln and drove the brand to renewed success with the launch of the Continental and Navigator, both which wear a new styling direction that finally seems to be gaining traction. Lincoln's global sales were up 13 per cent last year to more than 188,000, an 18-year high.

Galhotra will report to Jim Farley, Ford's president of Global Markets.

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The company provided no details of the alleged breach of behaviour, for which Mr Nair apologised in a statement: "I sincerely regret that there have been instances where I have not exhibited leadership behaviours consistent with the principles that the company and I have always espoused".

Nair is set to be replaced from 1 March by Kumar Galhotra, a 29-year Ford veteran who will report to the company's head of global markets, Jim Farley.

The company also made a handful of other changes to its senior management team on Thursday, appointing Joy Falotico to replace Galhotra as group vice president for Lincoln and chief marketing officer.

Raj Nair, Exective VP, Product Development and Chief Technical Officer for Ford, announces the new line of 2017 Ford Fusion cars at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 11, 2016.

Falotico, 50, previously was CEO of Ford Credit.

David McClelland, 48, who has worked at Ford credit for a quarter-century, will take over for Falotico in the credit division.