Ford appoints new CEO in reshuffle

Erik Gordon, a law and business professor at the University of MI, questions whether Hackett's past experience will be enough to steer Ford through a volatile global auto market.

Ford said at a news conference on Monday that Hackett hired Jim Harbaugh as head football coach and "left the department in much better shape than he found it".

Ford has confirmed the departure of chief executive Mark Fields as part of a boardroom shake-up following questions over the auto giant's performance and future strategy.

The share price has lost more than a third of its value in three years and it was overtaken in April by upstart electric carmaker Tesla in terms of market capitalization.

Ford officials are short on specifics as to how they expect to move the company forward and prop up its stock price, which has declined 40% in the three years under Fields. Executive Chairman Bill Ford called Hackett a "visionary" who knows how to remake a business.

"But this is a time of unprecedented change...(and) great change requires a transformational leader". Hackett was the CEO of Steelcase, a big player in office furniture, for two decades. He is credited with transforming that company, in part by predicting the shift away from cubicles and into open office plans. But he first had to cut thousands of jobs and moved furniture production from the U.S.to Mexico to stem massive losses at the company.

Hackett, like Harbaugh, played for MI under legendary football coach Bo Schembechler.

Hackett joined Ford's board in 2013, ahead of his retirement from Steelcase. Subcompact SUV sales are booming in the US, and Ford sells them overseas, but Ford doesn't plan to bring its subcompact EcoSport here until next year. And Ford hasn't kept up with rivals in the electric auto market.

Net income at Ford plunged 38 percent a year ago.

In 2000, Fields became CEO of Mazda Motor Corp., in which Ford had a controlling stake at the time.

Ford said in February it was investing $1 billion in artificial intelligence company Argo AI to develop a virtual driver system for the automaker's autonomous vehicle coming in 2021.

Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally retires.

Ford's (F) new CEO plans to hit the ground running, fast.

Jim Farley, a former Toyota CEO who has helped Ford to return to profitability in Europe as General Motors recedes, was named executive vice president and president of global markets.

Joe Hinrichs, 50, formerly in charge of The Americas, now will oversee global Product Development; Manufacturing and Labor Affairs; Quality; Purchasing; and Sustainability, Environmental and Safety Engineering. Marcy Klevorn is the new executive vice president and president, Mobility.

  • Zachary Reyes