Ford has confirmed Jim Hackett will become the company’s new President and CEO.
Hackett isn’t actually a household name but Ford says he has a “long track record of innovation and business success” as CEO of Steelcase, Interim Athletic Director at the University of Michigan, and executive chairman of Ford Smart Mobility LLC.
Hackett will report to Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and the two will work together to focus on three main areas including modernizing business and transforming the company to meet future challenges. The pair will also work to enhance operational execution which includes improving quality and product launches as well as addressing underperforming parts of the business.
In a statement, Bill Ford said “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.”
While earlier reports had suggested outgoing CEO Mark Fields was fired, Ford says he decided to retire following 28 years with the automaker. Stockholders haven’t been pleased with his tenure at the helm but Bill Ford said “Mark Fields has been an outstanding leader and deserves a lot of credit for all he has accomplished in his many roles around the globe at Ford.” He added, “His strong leadership was critical to our North American restructuring, our turnaround at the end of the last decade, and our record profits in the past two years.”
In related news, Ford announced several promotions including Jim Farley being appointed to Executive Vice President and President of Global Markets as well as Joe Hinrichs becoming Executive Vice President and President of Global Operations. Furthermore, Marcy Klevorn has been named Executive Vice President and President of Mobility while Mark Truby has been appointed Vice President of Communications. Lastly, Paul Ballew will become the company’s Global Chief Data and Analytics Officer.