Ford Motor Company,prodded by anxious shareholders,who have seen rival Tesla Motors overtake Ford in market cap recently,has chosen insider Jim Hackett to replace longtime Ford executive Mark Fields.Ford's executive chairman,Bill Ford,great grandson of company founder Henry Ford,denied that Fields had been fired.They simply sat down together and decided it was time for new leadership,Mr.Ford said.
Mr.Fields had replaced the retiring Alan Mulally,who was credited with shepherding Ford through the Financial Crisis.*
Mr.Hackett,a Ford board member,had been serving as Chairman of Ford Smart Mobility,the unit charged with crafting Ford's response to a changing transportation sector rapidly altered by firms such as Uber,Lyft and Google.Mr.Fields had been CEO for only three years and kept the company profitable,although its core auto manufacturing business has shown lackluster results as of late.*
In a previous position as CEO of office furniture maker Steelcase,Mr.Hackett shifted the company from cubicles to the rising open office format.From 2014-2016,he was interim athletic director at the University of Michigan,bringing on NFL coach Jim Harbaugh and hence restoring Michigan football to competitiveness.Bill Ford noted that:
These are really unprecedented times,and it really requires transformational leadership during these times.*
Ford's first electric SUV won't be ready till 2020.*
Ford Motor Company (F)