Ford Motor Company announced that Jim Hackett, the former Steelcase CEO who took over the top position at the automaker in 2017, plans to retire. Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley has been named as Ford’s new president and CEO and will join the board of directors on October 1st. Hackett, 65, and Farley, 58, will work together in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition. Hackett, who will serve as a special advisor to Ford through March of 2021, says it’s the right time for Farley to take the reigns.
“I have worked side-by-side with Jim Farley for the past three years and have the greatest confidence in him as a person and a leader,” Hackett explained. “He has been instrumental in crafting our new product portfolio and redesigning our businesses around the world. He is also a change agent with a deep understanding of how to lead Ford in this new era defined by smart vehicles in a smart world.”
During Hackett’s tenure, Ford restructured critical operations and expanded the company’s product portfolio with new offerings. During the last three years, Ford has focused on improving the “fitness” of its core business, making a substantial move towards technology and new mobility.
“My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future,” Hackett said. “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.”
“I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future,” added Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company. “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 mobilized to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic.”
Farley joined Ford in 2007 as global head of marketing and sales and went on to lead Lincoln, Ford South America, Ford of Europe, and all Ford global markets in successive roles. In April 2019, Farley was selected to lead Ford’s New Businesses, Technology & Strategy team, helping the company determine how to capitalize on software platforms, connectivity, AI, automation, and new forms of propulsion. He was named Chief Operating Officer in February of this year.
“Jim Farley matches an innate feel for cars and customers with great instincts for the future and the new technologies that are changing our industry,” Ford said. “Jim’s passion for great vehicles and his intense drive for results are well known, and I have also seen him develop into a transformational leader with the determination and foresight to help Ford thrive into the future.”
“I love Ford and I am honored by the opportunity to serve and create value for Ford’s employees, customers, dealers, communities, and all of our stakeholders,” Farley said. “Jim Hackett has laid the foundation for a really vibrant future, and we have made tremendous progress in the past three years. I am so excited to work together with the whole Ford team to realize the full potential of this great company in a new era.”