Currently reading: Ford CEO Jim Hackett to step down
COO Jim Farley to take the helm on 1 October, with commercial vehicles and connectivity his priorities
Felix Page Autocar writer
News
3 mins read
4 August 2020

Ford CEO Jim Hackett has announced that he will retire at the end of September and will be succeeded by current chief operating officer Jim Farley.

Hackett, now 65, has led the Michigan-based company since May 2017 and oversaw a substantial reorganisation of its global business model. He will work alongside Farley until his departure on "a smooth leadership transition". 

Executive chairman Bill Ford said: "I'm very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernise Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future.

"Our new product vision – led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150 and Bronco family – is taking shape. We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble, which was apparent when we quickly mobilised to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic.”

Farley will take the helm at the Blue Oval, following 13 years of service, as the company embarks upon a new model development partnership with Volkswagen and advances plans to usher in a range of electrified models. His appointment comes as Ford plots its recovery following the coronavirus pandemic. 

Bill Ford said "now is the right time" to "let Hackett have a break" and to "elevate Farley" to the role of CEO. 

Hackett played a key role in expanding Ford's connectivity offering, reducing bureaucracy and streamlining its global operations. He cited "moving ahead, rather than moving first" as the basis of his management style and said the recent unveilings of the new Bronco and Mustang Mach-E SUVs put the company in a good place. 

The American was a relative newcomer to the automotive industry when appointed as Ford CEO in 2017, having previously led the turnaround of office furniture company Steelcase. His successor has a longstanding history with the brand; his grandfather worked at the original Ford factory as early as 1914.

Farley said his predecessor has "laid a solid foundation for a vibrant future". He said his ambitions are to maximise commercial vehicle business opportunities, move to large-scale connectivity services and ensure best-in-class execution of upcoming model launches. 

Before joining Ford as vice-president of global marketing in 2007, the 58-year-old American spent 17 years at Toyota, leading the formation of the brand's youth-focussed Scion brand and later taking over as vice-president and general manager of Lexus. Bill Ford said of Farley: "Jim's a car guy through and through, it's his passion and his love."

Bill Ford explained that making the new appointment internally was decided as the best option by the board of management, saying: “Everybody was getting very inspired by Jim Farley’s leadership, and while we talked about it and threw some names around, every time we did that, we felt Jim Farley rose to the top. Sometimes, going outside is great –Alan Mulally and Jim Hackett are proof of that – but there’s great strength in continuity.”

Regarding the potential for additional management changes, he added: "I wouldn't expect any big changes."

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FRI2 4 August 2020

Hackett is a nice guy. But he

Hackett is a nice guy. But he only lasted 2.5 years. I guess nice guys finish last.

Cersai Lannister 4 August 2020

FRI2 wrote:

FRI2 wrote:

Hackett is a nice guy. But he only lasted 2.5 years. I guess nice guys finish last.

What's that got to do with his success or evident lack of? History will record him as being one of Ford's worst CEOs. Morale under his rudderless mumbo-jumbo sank, share price collapsed, launches mismanaged.

Still, maybe he was nice?

Tuatara 5 August 2020

Cersai Lannister wrote:

Cersai Lannister wrote:

FRI2 wrote:

Hackett is a nice guy. But he only lasted 2.5 years. I guess nice guys finish last.

What's that got to do with his success or evident lack of? History will record him as being one of Ford's worst CEOs. Morale under his rudderless mumbo-jumbo sank, share price collapsed, launches mismanaged.

Still, maybe he was nice?

Was he any worse than the 1 global ford - mullally? The bigger than Texas Americans didn't digest the fiesta and focus.  However thanks to Hackett they're now buying up the ranger like hot cakes, and the bronco already has a ton of orders before it's even been released. 

 

 

Billnyethescienceguy 4 August 2020

Hackett Hacked

Hackett was awful. Here in the States his most important launch (Explorer/Aviator) was a complete disaster and couldn't get a car assembled in its first try. Then they cancelled the Focus and Fiesta here. I'm so happy to hear he is gone but he easily set Ford back 5 years or more. Such an idiot. No idea how someone thought building furniture and a car are the same thing. Only Ford
xxxx 4 August 2020

Bye

Achieved nothing in 3 years, actually Ford had a BEV when he joined but they've now none until the 50k Mustrang hits the road.  Old flat pack salesmen obviously don't make good car people.

When he joined share price was 11 dollars now it's 6.7, still after the abuse I got on this website by some 3 years ago it's nice to be proved right. 

jason_recliner 5 August 2020

xxxx wrote:

xxxx wrote:

it's nice to be proved right. 

Like a stopped clock.

cambuster 6 August 2020

Spot on xxxx

well said. Even worse than  "the man from Boeing" who under his cost-cutting ONE FORD handle gave the world Brazil's dire EcoWart,  preventing Ford in Europe from building a decent B car SUV - from which they are only just recovering with Puma  

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