Management reshuffle at Ford with appointment of new CEO

22 May 2017

22 May 2017

Ford Motor Company has released a statement confirming the retirement of CEO Mark Fields, with Jim Hackett replacing him and reporting to executive chairman Bill Ford.  

The company recognises Hackett as a ′transformational business leader’ and is expected to focus on three priorities: Sharpening operational execution, modernising Ford’s present business and transforming the manufacturer to meet tomorrow’s challenges. It believes the new appointment, together with other new leaders in various roles, will help is to strengthen the core automotive business. 

Bill Ford comments: ′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. 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.’ 

Ford has been rebuilding its business following the economic crisis of 2008 and is also behind other vehicle manufacturers when it comes to future mobility. While the company is pushing forward with its plans for autonomous vehicles, Ford has no significant electric vehicle in its model line-up. However, the vehicle manufacturer is struggling to prove its autonomous vehicle aspirations to investors, when Fields was battling to create enthusiasm for his plans to sink billions into the project. 

Hackett, promoted as head of Ford’s Smart Mobility division, could be a strong choice to take the manufacturer into the future and transform its outlook on the market. 

According to the statement released by Ford, Hackett, together with Bill Ford, will focus on three priorities: 

  • 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 

  • Modernising 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 behaviour change over time

Fields served as CEO of Ford for two years, having joined the company in 1989 and progressed through a number of leadership positions. In his role he was tasked with overseeing growth in global manufacturing while also managing an aggressive model introduction schedule.  

The company has also named a new structure for its operations with three new leaders. Jim Farley, 54, is appointed″¯executive vice president and president, Global Markets. In this role, Farley will oversee Ford’s business units The Americas, Europe, Middle East & Africa and Asia Pacific. Farley will also manage the strategy and business model development for electrified vehicles and autonomous vehicles. 

Joe Hinrichs is appointed″¯executive vice president and president, Global Operations, and Marcy Klevorn is appointed″¯executive vice president and president, Mobility. In this role, Klevorn will 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, as well as Information Technology and Global Data, Insight and Analytics.  

Photograph courtesy of Ford Motor Company