Ford CEO Jim Hackett to retire; Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley will take helm
Ford Motor Co. announced Tuesday that CEO Jim Hackett is retiring from the company he has led since May 2017, and Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley is taking the helm.
Ford Explorer, the Lincoln Aviator and the Police Interceptor, issuing frequent apologies after sales and earnings reports, and seeing a steady drop in stock value that predates the pandemic.” data-reactid=”7″>Hackett, 65, who went to Ford after retiring as CEO of Steelcase in Grand Rapids, “elected to retire from the company,” the automaker said in a news release. Ford has struggled under his leadership with product launch problems involving the Ford Explorer, the Lincoln Aviator and the Police Interceptor, issuing frequent apologies after sales and earnings reports, and seeing a steady drop in stock value that predates the pandemic.
Farley, 58, assumes his new role as CEO on Oct. 1. He was also elected to the company’s board of directors.
“Under Hackett, Ford moved aggressively into the new era of smart vehicles and drove a deeper focus on customers’ wants and needs,” the company said. “At the same time, Ford improved the fitness of the base business — restructuring operations, invigorating the product portfolio and reducing bureaucracy.”
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Ford executive chairman Bill Ford, who has had a close relationship with Hackett since he started, said in a statement, “I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future.”
He said the “new product vision” led by the all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUV, the 2021 F-150 and the Bronco and Bronco Sport “is taking shape.”
“We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity,” Bill Ford said. “And we are becoming much more nimble, which was apparent when we quickly mobilized to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic.”
Farley, who worked at Toyota before being tapped by former CEO Alan Mulally, was named chief operating officer in a management shakeup in February.
“Jim Farley matches an innate feel for cars and customers with great instincts for the future and the new technologies that are changing our industry,” Bill Ford said in a statement. “Jim’s passion for great vehicles and his intense drive for results are well known, and I have also seen him develop into a transformational leader with the determination and foresight to help Ford thrive into the future.”
The company noted that Farley’s background is extensive:
- Farley joined Ford in 2007 as global head of marketing and sales.
- He later led Lincoln, Ford South America, Ford of Europe and all Ford global markets.
- In April 2019, Farley was named as leader of Ford’s New Businesses, Technology & Strategy team.
Hackett, who will continue as “a special advisor to Ford through March of 2021,” believes “the time is right to pass the mantle of leadership to Jim Farley,” Ford said.
“My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future,” Hackett said in a statement. “The hardest thing for a proud, long-lived company to do is change to meet the challenges of the world it’s entering rather than the world it has known. I’m very proud of how far we have come in creating a modern Ford and I am very optimistic about the future.”
Farley has been “instrumental in crafting our new product portfolio and redesigning our businesses around the world,” Hacket said. “He is also a change agent with a deep understanding of how to lead Ford in this new era defined by smart vehicles in a smart world.”
Farley, whose grandfather worked for Ford at the Rouge complex, said he was “honored by the opportunity to serve” and take the company into a “new era.”
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Ford CEO Jim Hackett to retire; COO Jim Farley to replace him” data-reactid=”75″>This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Ford CEO Jim Hackett to retire; COO Jim Farley to replace him