Ford CEO Jim Hackett is retiring, the company has recently announced, he will be replaced by current chief operating officer Jim Farley. Hackett will stay with Ford until October to help with the transition and remain a special advisor through March 2021.
Jim Hackett became the CEO in 2017 replacing Mark Fields, who was pushed out after also spending three years on the job.
Hackett helped the company to make a global alliance with Volkswagen that will see the two automakers collaborate on trucks and vans, autonomous and electric vehicles, and more. He took Ford’s $1 billion investment into an unheard-of self-driving car startup called Argo and helped develop a potential commercial service — all while recently netting the automaker $3.5 billion by breaking off a piece Argo and selling it to Volkswagen.
Under Hackett leadership, Ford also developed and revealed the Mustang Mach-E, the company’s first long-range all-electric car, and a flagship of the company’s $11 billion push into electric vehicles.
Meanwhile, Hackett’s grand restructuring plan did not stop Ford from losing money before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, or appreciably boost its stock price. The company lost $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019 alone.
In a statement Hackett 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.”
Now, Farley has been with Ford for more than a decade. In a conference call he said that he wants to swing for the fences while in charge of Ford. “We know our competition today is Amazon, Baidu, Tesla, Apple, Toyota, and others. They’re well financed and voracious companies.”