Ford names Jim Hackett as its new CEO

Article by Christian A., on May 24, 2017

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.

Press Release

FORD APPOINTS JIM HACKETT AS CEO TO STRENGTHEN OPERATIONS, TRANSFORM FOR FUTURE; FARLEY, HINRICHS, KLEVORN TAKE ON NEW ROLES

Ford Motor Company today named Jim Hackett as its new president and CEO and announced key global leadership changes designed to further strengthen its core automotive business and accelerate a strategic shift to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Hackett, 62, 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 since March 2016.

Reporting to Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Hackett will lead Ford’s worldwide operations and 202,000 employees globally. He succeeds Mark Fields, 56, who has elected to retire from Ford after a successful 28-year career with the company.

“We’re moving from a position of strength to transform Ford for the future,” 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.”

Added Hackett: “I am so excited to work with Bill Ford and the entire team to create an even more dynamic and vibrant Ford that improves people’s lives around the world, and creates value for all of our stakeholders. I have developed a deep appreciation for Ford’s people, values and heritage during the past four years as part of the company and look forward to working together with everyone tied to Ford during this transformative period.”

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
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
Bill Ford and Ford’s Board of Directors thanked Fields for his significant contributions to the company.

“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," Bill Ford said. “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."

Also today, Ford announced a new structure for its operations and named three new leaders reporting to Hackett:

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. In addition, Farley will oversee Lincoln Motor Company and global Marketing Sales & Service. Farley has served as executive vice president and president, Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa since January 2015. Farley will also oversee the strategy and business model development for electrified vehicles and autonomous vehicles.

Joe Hinrichs, 50, is appointed executive vice president and president, Global Operations. In this role, Hinrichs will oversee Ford’s global Product Development; Manufacturing and Labor Affairs; Quality; Purchasing; and Sustainability, Environmental and Safety Engineering; Hinrichs has been serving as Ford executive vice president and president, The Americas, since December 2012.

Marcy Klevorn, 57, 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. Klevorn has served as group vice president, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer since January 2017.

All three appointments are effective June 1. New leaders to succeed Hinrichs, Farley and Klevorn will be the subject of a future announcement.

“We are fortunate to have three dynamic and talented leaders in Jim Farley, Joe Hinrichs and Marcy Klevorn taking on greater responsibility,” Bill Ford said. “Each has a track record of driving innovation, cost efficiency and delivering results around the world. They will work closely with Jim Hackett to lead Ford’s day-to-day operations, build our brand and capitalize on emerging opportunities.”

In addition, Ford appointed Mark Truby, 47, vice president, Communications, effective immediately, reporting to Bill Ford. He was elected a company officer. Truby has previously led Ford’s Communications teams in Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East & Africa. Truby succeeds Ray Day, who plans to retire from the company next year and will provide consulting services until then.

Ford also elected Paul Ballew, 52, as 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.

Source: Ford

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