The Ford Motor Company has announced via a press release today that company’s current President and CEO Jim Hackett has decided to retire at the age of 65. After a stint of leading the long-standing automotive giant since 2017, Hackett is slated to be replaced by chief operating officer Jim Farley on October 1 of this year.
We guess there’s only room for one Jim within the FoMoCo C-Suite.
Under the leadership of Hackett, Ford Motor Company underwent a dramatic global restructuring process, which they have billions of dollars invested in. This process included revamping the product line to include vehicles like the Bronco and the Mustang Mach-E, as well as reducing the amount of internal bureaucracy as much as possible.
“I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “Our new product vision – led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150 and Bronco family – is taking shape. We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble, which was apparent when we quickly mobilized to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic.”
Despite Mr. Ford’s kind words, this leadership change comes at a tumultuous time for the Blue Oval. According to The Detroit News, Ford has been going through a bit of a financial rut as of late, and investors have been unhappy with the company’s stock results for some time. The coronavirus pandemic has only strained this situation further, perhaps accelerating Farley’s role as president and CEO of the company. Hackett is slated to stay with the company as a special advisor through March of 2021.
Farley, 58, was promoted to COO in February of this year, after serving in a number of executive roles at FoMoCo since 2007. His position at the head of Ford’s New Businesses, Technology & Strategy team, which addresses the rapidly changing areas of software platforms, connectivity, AI, automation and new forms of propulsion, may prove to be key during his time as head of the company. Over the next few months the two executives will work together to help make this transition happen smoothly, though only time is going to tell how well this plays out in Dearborn.
As a hobby, Farley enjoys vintage racing, having participated in events like the 2014 Le Mans Classic in France. He’s owned historic race cars ranging from a Ford-Cosworth-powered Lola T298 to an original Ford GT40. We wish him the best of luck in running this 117-year-old company.