Ford Motor Co. now has a new man on the top, and he goes by the name of Jim Hackett. Effective May 22, 2017, Hackett is named the new president and chief executive officer of Ford, replacing erstwhile top honcho Mark Fields. In his new role, Hackett is now reporting directly to Executive Chairman Bill Ford.
Along with Bill Ford, Hackett outlined three main objectives for the carmaker: to sharpen Ford’s operational execution; to modernize the company’s present business; and to transform the carmaker to meet future challenges.
Hackett was formerly vice chairman of office furniture giant Steelcase (2014 to 2015). Before that, he was the company’s CEO, until his retirement in February 2014. In total, Hackett spent around 30 years in Steelcase, and is widely credited in guiding the company to becoming a global leader in the office furniture industry. He was instrumental in transforming Steelcase from just a traditional manufacturer to an industry innovator positioned as the #1 in the world.
He was a member of Ford’s Board of Directors in 2013, taking part as a member of the Sustainability and Innovation committee. His role made him actively involved with the Ford’s senior leadership team, especially in launching its Ford Smart Mobility plan. He was named chairman of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, a subsidiary of the carmaker, on March 10, 2016.
Hackett’s appointment as Ford’s new CEO and president came after Fields decided to pursue retirement after 28 years with the Michigan-based company. Bill Ford described Fields as an outstanding leader who should be credited for all his many global roles at Ford. He noted that Fields’ strong leadership was critical to the carmaker’s restructuring in North America, its turnaround at the end of the previous decade, and its record profits in the last two years. As for Fields’ successor, Bill Ford called Hackett as the right CEO to lead Ford during the auto industry’s transformative period and the broader mobility space.
Meanwhile, Ford announced the appointment of leaders to three new roles under Hackett, effective June 1, 2017. Ford named Jim Farley as executive vice president and president for Global Markets; Joe Hinrichs as executive vice president and president for Global Operations; and Marcy Klevorn as executive vice president and president for Mobility.
Farley was previously executive vice president and president at Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa while Hinrichs was Ford executive vice president and president for The Americas. Klevorn, on the other hand, was group vice president for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer. Ford will soon announce the successors to the posts left by Hinrichs, Farley and Klevorn.