DETROIT – “I’m not dead. I’m here,” Jim Padilla, Ford Motor Co. president, says at the North American International Auto Show here.

Padilla opened Ford’s presentation Sunday against a backdrop of media reports he will be leaving the company.

Speculation has been rife in recent months, as Padilla seemingly has taken a backseat in preparations to announce restructuring of Ford’s North American operations Jan. 23.

Meanwhile, reportedly Steve Lyons, group vice president-North American marketing, sales and service, is preparing to retire in March, which will set off a reshuffling of executives in senior marketing, sales and service positions.

apriddle@primediabusiness.com