Why Ford fired its CEO
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 24, 2017,
May 24, 2017, 0:15
He served on Ford's board from 2013 to 2016 and became the head of Ford's mobility unit in March of a year ago.
Hackett also served as the interim athletic director at the University of MI from 2014 to 2016.
Ford said Hackett's job was as follows: "sharpen operational execution, modernise Ford's present business and transform the company to meet tomorrow's challenges".
The former chief of furniture maker Steelcase has served on the board at the company, from 2013 to 2016 and became the head of Ford's mobility unit in March of past year.
In comments Monday, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford praised the tenure and achievements of Fields but then pivoted and said the automaker needs to make decisions faster, break down its hierarchical structures and communicate its strategy more clearly to the public. This is despite the fact that Tesla sold less than 100,000 cars past year, while Ford sold close to 6 million. He is credited as being one of the only outsiders to enter the auto industry and have a successful career as a CEO - a steep reputation for Hackett to live up to. The new CEO will help "unlock the full potential of our people and our business" as the company attempts to transform itself into a broad-based provider of transportation services.
He didn't disclose what parts would be used, but added there would be changes, as the plan "doesn't handle when there are lots of complex strategy questions".
Now let's take a look at what challenges Hackett and his new leadership team could face initially at Ford.
Other management changes at the company could be coming as Hackett attempts to reposition the company for a new era of electric vehicles and autonomous driving, said Adam Jonas, an analyst at Morgan Stanley.
He also has developed a close relationship with Bill Ford as a member of Ford's board of directors and as chairman of Ford Smart Mobility. A Ford spokeswoman said Trump was not a factor in Fields' departure. "His strong leadership was critical to our North American restructuring, our turnaround at the end of the last decade, and our record profits in the past two years".
Possible longer-term replacements consist of Joe Hinrichs, president of The Americas, who becomes executive vice president for worldwide operations. Truby was previously head of Ford's communications teams in the Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions.
Meanwhile, investors see Ford as a laggard in the shift toward electric vehicles, self-driving technology and ride-sharing. In this role, Hinrichs will oversee Ford's global product development; manufacturing and labor affairs; quality; purchasing; and sustainability, environmental and safety engineering.
That was the sobering conclusion after a series of extraordinary meetings this month culminated Monday with an abrupt exit by Fields, whose almost three-year tenure as chief executive left Ford struggling to keep pace with new technologies like self-driving cars and the relentless pressure from Wall Street to deliver profits now amid a slowing USA auto market. The three appointments are effective June 1.
Under a broader shake-up announced on Monday, former Ford of Europe chief Jim Farley will become president of a new "Global Markets" group that will include Ford's regional sales and marketing operations around the world as well as its Lincoln luxury brand.