Ford to have new leadership; CEO announces retirement

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
  • Follow author on
Representational Image

American multinational automaker Ford has announced that its Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley will take over the chief executive position from Jim Hackett when he retires at the end of September. 

The automaker which is in the midst of an $11 billion restructuring plan has struggled in recent years. The firm will now focus on making the organization leaner and produce new vehicles to replace what was an aging model lineup.

As Ford’s COO, the 58-year-old Farley led the company’s global markets and product development. He was in charge as Ford rolled out a revamped F-150 pickup, the new Bronco off-road SUV brand and the electric Mustang Mach-E SUV.

Farley was hired by then-CEO Alan Mulally from Toyota in November of 2007 to run Ford’s marketing operations.

The 65-year-old Hackett who had replaced the sacked Mark Fields in May of 2017 almost immediately began reviewing Ford’s management structure and flattened the organization so it could move faster. He is expected to stay on as an adviser to the new CEO Farley till March of 2021.

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, honored Hackett for modernizing the company and reducing bureaucracy.

“We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble,” Ford said. He cited Ford’s quick shift to make ventilators, face shields and other protective equipment to help alleviate shortages at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Just after the change was announced Tuesday morning, Ford shares rose 2% to $6.84 in premarket trading.