Jim Farley is set to become a different kind of CEO as he takes the helm of Ford Motor Company. He’s already made clear leadership will look different company wide, implementing new ideas and changes. He’s also a true gearhead, something that can’t be said about his predecessor Jim Hackett. Because of his love for cars, Farley is an avid racing driver on the weekends, and that will continue during his position as CEO.
For context, many CEOs are required to end any and all activities that could be potentially dangerous. But according to Automotive News, one of Farley’s key stipulations in the promotion to CEO is that he could continue racing. It was actually the second conversation Farley said he had with Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr.
“I said, ‘You know, Bill, I can’t just stop racing. It’s just who I am. It’s my yoga. You’ve got to let me do this if I’m going to be a better CEO.’ He was very supportive,” said Farley Tuesday in an interview with SalesForce, according to Automotive News.
Farley said racing provides the mental break he needs to come back day after day and lead Ford. His concentration is completely on racing, allowing him to push out the stress of his professional life. Farley also said racing provides his ideal competitive outlet. Just like some people need a sport, art, cooking or some other hobby to unwind, Farley needs racing.
Most impressive might just be Farley’s chosen race cars, a 1966 Ford GT40 and a 1978 Lola T298. These aren’t vehicles anyone can hop in and dive quickly, let alone with other classics all around. The cars alone prove Farley can properly drive, and it’s not just for show. Farley did say he would be as safe as possible behind the wheel of these incredible racers.
We look forward to seeing how Farley’s attitude towards cars and leadership impacts his position as Ford CEO in the years ahead.