COO to become new CEO at Ford Motors.
With its most important product launches in years done, Ford will now transition from one CEO to another.
This year has seen the American car company launch a new version of its most important vehicle, the F-150 bakkie, and reintroduce the Bronco off-road SUV. Much is expected from these vehicles as Ford refocuses its core business.
With these two crucial new product lines delivered, CEO Jim Hackett can now retire, after only joining Ford in 2017.
Under Hackett’s leadership, Ford has taken the bold step to disinvest from the passenger car market and refocus nearly all of its resources on bakkies and SUVs. He has also driven technology and process innovation at the company, with Ford showing the first intent to electrify popular models, such as the Mustang.
Hackett’s background was unusual for a Ford boss. He had previously worked at the world’s largest office furniture company, Steelcase, but in only three years his influence was certainly felt. The new Bronco is perhaps Jim Hackett’s greatest legacy, as he prepares for a final working day at the end of September.
Replacing Jim Hackett is Jim Farley, who is currently Ford’s COO. Farley has deep experience in the automotive industry, having served for 13 years with Toyota, starting at the Japanese company in 1990, before joining Ford in 2007.
Farley’s understanding of how to position a luxury car brand is credible, as he worked on Lexus during its surge of popularity. An economics and computer science graduate, Farley’s literacy with regards to technology could be exactly what Ford requires, as it faces new threats to its most profitable business: bakkies.
With Bollinger, Lordstown, Rivian and Tesla preparing to launch advanced battery-powered bakkies into the American market, F-150 could come under huge pressure over the next three years. It will have to counter these disruptive new bakkie rivals with superior technology and Farley’s computer science literacy could help him understand which future vehicle technologies are digitally viable.
A cousin of American actor and comedian, Chris Farley, Ford’s new CEO promises to be personable and entertaining during media events.