Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Ford replaces CEO in push to transform business

Motor Co. shows Jim Hackett chairman of Ford Smart Mobility LLC a subsidiary of Ford Motor Co. He was named to the positi Ford replaces CEO in push to transform business
Jeannie Matthews | 22 May, 2017, 16:38

Mark Fields, who assumed office as CEO of Ford since 2014, will not be the only one to be relieved from his current duties. Hackett is now chairman of Ford Smart Mobility, a Ford Unit started to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services, according the Ford website. Hackett has led Ford's mobility unit since a year ago.

Hackett is now working as head of Ford Smart Mobility unit.

Ford has posted a series of solid profits under Mr. Fields, aided by renewed demand for pickups and sport utilities that deliver higher margins and do well in an era of cheap gasoline. Tesla, the Elon Musk-backed electric automaker, has seen its stock skyrocket and increase its market value way beyond expectations. Ford's share price has dropped around 40 per cent since a July 2014 price of $17.72, to $10.87 at the close of trading last Friday.

Hackett, 62, helped to revive office furniture maker Steelcase as its chief executive from 1994 to 2014 before joining Ford past year. "I have developed a deep appreciation for Ford's people, values and heritage during the past four years as part of the company and look forward to working together with everyone tied to Ford during this transformative period". 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.

Ford also is ousting Fields's communications chief Ray Day and replacing him with Mark Truby, a former newspaper reporter who had most recently been leading Ford's communications in Asia, the person said. Uber, Google, Tesla and others are racing ahead with programs aimed at overtaking Detroit as the tope of the US auto industry. At the time, Ford said the new subsidiary will pursue merging opportunities in mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and accompanying data and analytics.

Ford Motor Company's record-setting sales of 2016 didn't offset concerns about top leadership and profitability by the time the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker's board of directors met this month. In that role, he lured star football coach Jim Harbaugh.

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Joe Hinrichs, head of the Americas since December 2012, will manage global product development, manufacturing and labour affairs, purchasing, and environmental and safety engineering, while Marcy Klevorn, vice president of information technology and chief technical officer since January, will oversee Hackett's Ford Smart Mobility.

A Ford spokesman in Europe declined to comment "on speculation or rumors".

Hackett will have to placate investors anxious about Ford's sliding US market share and product decisions.

Ford's auto sales are down 25 per cent this year - far more than the overall industry decline in the vehicle segment - and it is making little, if any, money on the cars it does sell.

And indeed, Ford has failed so far in bringing an e-car model to American streets, trailing behind its rival GM that sells the Chevrolet Bolt. Still, GM faces unhappy investors of its own with its stock slightly below the $33 initial public offering price from November 2010.

Ford is expected to make an official announcement when the New York Stock Exchange opens today at 9.30am Eastern.

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