Official: Ford CEO Steps Down After Three Years

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He will be replaced by the COO, Jim Farley.

Ford Motor Company has just announced that Jim Hackett, who has served as president and CEO since 2017, will retire. Hackett stepped in to replace former CEO Mark Fields, who also lastest just three years after failing to increase the company's stock price. Jim Farley, who is currently Ford's chief operating officer, will replace Hacket as president and CEO effective October 1, 2020. The two will work on a smooth leadership transition plan over the next two months.

Hackett's time as CEO yielded several interesting moves and new product launches for Ford. Under Hackett's leadership, Ford abandoned the passenger car segment to focus on trucks and SUVs such as the upcoming 2021 Ford Bronco, F-150, and Mustang Mach-E while killing off the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Taurus.

Ford
Ford

"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," said Bill Ford, Ford's executive chairman. "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 will take over to transform Ford into a higher-growth, higher-margin business. "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," Bill 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."

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Hackett issued a statement on his retirement: "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."

No specific details were given on Farley's plans as CEO, though more information will likely emerge in the coming weeks and months as the leadership transition begins. "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."

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