After leading Ford Motor Company for three years, its chief executive officer Jim Hackett will be stepping down from his post. He will remain with the car company until October. Between this announcement last week and until then, he will be helping Ford to transition.
Hackett will be replaced by former Toyota executive and Ford’s current chief operating officer Jim Farley. Hackett, who started his leadership for the company in May 2017, will serve as “special advisor” for the company until March next year. He led the company when the auto industry is seeing immense changes, per CNN.
BREAKING: Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Hackett to step down, handing reins to chief operating officer Jim Farley, as restructuring plan fails to reignite stockhttps://t.co/4miCVtfB9r pic.twitter.com/FQb3EZw40f
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) August 4, 2020
‘To win in the future’
In a statement, Ford’s top head said: “My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future. The hardest thing for a proud, long-lived company to do is change to meet the challenges of the world it’s entering rather than the world it has known. I’m very proud of how far we have come in creating a modern Ford and I am very optimistic about the future.”
Hackett’s previous leadership gig included being the top head of Steelcase, an American furniture company that is dedicated to making products for office setups, a huge turn from Ford’s line of business. Even far fetched from any of those was his short stay in University of Michigan as the athletics department’s interim director. He also has worked in a different department from the Detroit-based car maker firm, heading Ford Smart Mobility for over a year.
Over a conference call, 65-year old Hackett said, “Was I really the right fit?” He was referring to his installation as Ford chief exec. “I knew it would test the patience of stakeholders. But I knew how to get the narrative right and to address the unfit parts of the business while rekindling innovation.”
‘Swing for the fences’
With electric vehicle companies like Tesla gaining the traction of the customers, the carmaker is being pushed to be more innovative along with other traditional auto producers like GM and Fiat Chrysler.
“Could we withstand some static in the short term?” Hackett also asked.
His replacement, who ascended to COO position last March, has been with the company for over a decade now. Farley told in a conference call about wanting the company to further grow in the stock market under his helm. “We know our competition today is Amazon, Baidu, Tesla, Apple, Toyota, and others. They’re well-financed and voracious companies.”