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Buckle Up Ford Vehicle Fans: Ford Puts New CEO, Jim Hackett, In Driver's Seat

June 1, 2017

Buckle Up Ford Vehicle Fans: Ford Puts New CEO, Jim Hackett, In Driver's Seat

On May 22, 2017, Ford Motor Company brought on Jim Hackett, a former office furniture executive to replace their current CEO, Mark Fields. With 114 years under their belt, Ford is striving to transform its brand and keep up with other auto industry companies such as Tesla.

After 28 years with Ford, Fields has now retired. Hackett had not auto experience until he was brought on in 2016 to head up the smart mobility transportation initiative. Chairman and great-grandson of Henry Ford, Bill Ford Jr. said the company will be able to meet its goal of speed in decision making and expects that Hackett, at 62 years of age, to fill the CEO seat for a long time to come.

Thanks to a thriving auto industry, Ford has amassed over $25 billion in profits over the last four years. However, several external factors and changes have prompted this industry leader to make their own changes in order to keep up with the market.

While the thriving auto market in the United States is expected to slow down through the remainder of 2017, Ford Motor Company still had a 14.6 percent share in the 2016 auto market to the tune of $44 billion. Hackett’s vision is to reinvent the popular American auto brand into a company that grows and prospers in a highly competitive and ever-changing industry.

Ford is rising to the challenge to face competition not only from its traditional rivals such as Toyota and General Motors but also from new players in the transportation and technology markets. These players include companies like Tesla, ride-sharing industries like Uber, and tech companies who are getting into the transportation market with smart-car and other technologies such as those regarding fuel.

Hackett, a University of Michigan graduate and personal friend of Bill Ford, has been confidently charged with heading this challenging task. According to a recent news release, together, Hackett and Ford will narrow in on three main priorities:

  • Sharpening operational execution
  • Modernizing Ford's present business
  • Transforming the company to meet tomorrow's challenges
Continuing its tradition of hiring some unusual executives, Ford selected Hackett who is known widely for his outside of the box thinking and being more customer-minded. He is also reportedly more relaxed and direct than previous CEOs has been.

However, Bill Ford went on record saying that both Fields and Hackett are the types of leaders that have the ability to make employees feel important and valuable; conveying to employees that they would not only succeed but would have fun in the process.