Ford Motor Co. is tapping Jim Hackett as its new president and CEO to replace Mark Fields, who is retiring. The move comes as the automaker struggled to adopt a new strategic vision regarding mobility and technology in the face of declining stock value.
The OEM has lost nearly 40% of its stock value over the last three years, according to analysts.
“We’re moving from a position of strength to transform Ford for the future,” noted Bill Ford, the OEM’s executive chairman, in a statement. “Jim Hackett is the right CEO to lead Ford during this transformative period for the auto industry and the broader mobility space. He’s a true visionary who brings a unique, human-centered leadership approach to our culture, products and services that will unlock the potential of our people and our business.”
Hackett, 62, has served as executive chairman of Ford Smart Mobility LLC since March 2016. He also sports what Bill Ford referred to as a “long track record of innovation and business success” as the CEO of Steelcase and as interim athletic director at the University of Michigan.
Fields, 56, who replaced Alan Mulally as Ford’s chief executive in 2014, is retiring after a 28-year career at the OEM.
Hackett and Bill Ford noted in a joint statement they will now focus on three priorities at the automaker:
- Sharpening operational execution across the global business to further enhance quality, go-to-market strategy; product launch, while decisively addressing underperforming parts of the business
- Modernizing Ford’s business, using new tools and techniques to unleash innovation, speed decision making and improve efficiency. This includes increasingly leveraging big data, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, 3D printing and more
- Transforming the company to meet future challenges, ensuring the company has the right culture, talent, strategic processes and nimbleness to succeed as society’s needs and consumer behavior change over time
Also part of this new effort, Ford is also restructuring its operations and appointing three new executives who will report to Hackett effective June 1:
- Jim Farley, 54, is appointed executive vice president and president of global markets to oversee Ford’s business units in the Americas, Europe, Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific. In addition, Farley will oversee Ford’s Lincoln Motor Co. subsidiary and also oversee the strategy and business model development for electrified vehicles and autonomous vehicles at the OEM.
- Joe Hinrichs, 50, is moving up to executive vice president and president of global operations, charged with overseeing Ford’s global product development, manufacturing and labor affairs, quality, purchasing, plus sustainability, environmental and safety engineering.
- Marcy Klevorn, 57, is stepping up to executive vice president and president for mobility to oversee Ford Smart Mobility LLC, which was formed last year to accelerate the company’s plans to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services. He'll also be in charge of information technology and global data, insight and analytics. Klevorn has served as group vice president for information technology and chief information officer since January 2017.
Ford is also promoting Paul Ballew, 52, as to the position of global chief data and analytics officer, reporting to Klevorn. Ballew has been leading Ford’s global data and analytics teams since December 2014, including development of new capabilities supporting connectivity and smart mobility.