New Ford CEO's resume includes furniture and football

Ford Motor Co. announced Monday that it is replacing its CEO, Mark Fields, with an executive who has been leading the automaker's self-driving auto effort.

It's been widely reportedly that Fields' decision to leave followed a loss of confidence in his leadership by Ford's Executive Chairman, Bill Ford, and the rest of the vehicle maker's board. Fields has come under pressure for the company's flagging stock price, which has sank almost 40 percent during his stint as CEO.

He was CEO of furniture manufacturer Steelcase, but he has a close relationship with Ford Chairman Bill Ford and has a reputation for advanced thinking about business and the future. Hackett has led Ford's mobility unit since March of previous year.

Mr Fields is leading an overhaul of Ford's business model so the company can take on self-driving cars from the likes of Alphabet's Waymo and Uber Technologies. Net income at Ford plunged 38 percent past year. Ford's stock price rises 2 percent to close at $11.10. Bill Ford said it's critical that teams have the power to move fast and make decisions, and Hackett will take the lead in making sure teams feel empowered to execute quickly.

At Steelcase, Hackett oversaw more than 10,000 job cuts in several waves from 2001 to 2009, according to the company.

Fields will be replaced by Jim Hackett, the chairman of the Ford's forward-looking Smart Mobility division.

Fields, who will retire from Ford, also led a $1.6 billion project to build a small-car assembly plant in Mexico, a plan abandoned earlier this year, as small auto sales slowed and the election of President Donald Trump increase pressure on US vehicle manufacturers to build products within the United States. Under Fields, Ford's share price had dropped more than 35 percent.

January 2017: Ford says it's canceling the Mexico plant, winning praise from President Trump. Mulally, who joined Ford in 2006 when it was near bankruptcy, was widely credited with ending internal bickering at Ford and streamlining manufacturing. Other key changes in Dearborn's C-suite include the naming of Jim Farley to executive vice president and president of global markets, overseeing the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asian Pacific regions.

Three new leaders have also been appointed who will report to Hackett.

All three appointments are effective June 1. Marcy Klevorn is named EVP and president of mobility, succeeding Hackett.

  • Zachary Reyes