Ford fires CEO Mark Fields, Hackett takes reins

Ford Motor Company is replacing its chief executive in a "reshuffle" of top personnel, a source has told Sky News.

Reports suggest that Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields has been replaced by the head of Ford Smart Mobility Subsidiary LLC James P. Hackett.

He worked at Grand Rapids, Michigan-based office furniture maker Steelcase for two decades. He is the former CEO of office furniture maker Steelcase.

"Mark Fields was given the almost impossible task of making the utterly conventional auto manufacturer, Ford Motor Company, into a high-tech information-style company with share values to match", said Jack Nerad, the editorial director for the vehicle shopping site Kelley Blue Book. Ford's stock price has fallen nearly 40 percent in the three years since Fields became CEO. Investors also worry that Ford is falling behind its rivals. He has been betting on self-driving cars and ride-sharing business as the automaker's traditional vehicle business has struggled in a slowing USA market. Fields' previous job was Chief Operating Officer and other prior roles included Vice President, President of the Americas, and Executive Vice President of Ford of Europe and the now-defunct Premier Automotive Group. Hackett also served as interirm University of MI athletic director from 2014 to 2016, and was responsible for bringing in football coach Jim Harbaugh.

Mr Hackett, who joined Ford's board of directors in 2013, was appointed in March 2016 as chairman of Ford Smart Mobility, according to his profile on the company's website.

In 2000, Fields became CEO of Mazda Motor Corp., in which Ford had a controlling stake at the time. He led a turnaround at Mazda with several Ford executives with whom he later worked to revive the United States carmaker's North American business.

Ford's first-quarter adjusted earnings fell 42 per cent, while GM appears on pace for another record annual profit. Fields' ouster has been a part of a major management shakeup and new executives will now be taking up different roles.

  • Zachary Reyes