As per reports that surged just ahead of the official announcement, from May 22 onward the second largest American automaker has a new leader – former CEO Mark Fields is out and James P. Hackett, the Ford Smart Mobility chief is in.
James P. Hackett – a relative newcomer inside the company – previously the head of the company’s Ford Smart Mobility LLC subsidiary, has been named as the new chief executive officer in a not so surprising management shakeup. The drastic measure is owed to the incredible 40 percent drop in shares since mid-2014 when Fields took control and the fact that market share has been on a downward trend for the past three years. 62-year-old James P. Hackett was with Ford only for the past three years before becoming chairman of the aforementioned Ford Smart Mobility LLC subsidiary in 2016.
Hackett has 30 years of experience working with office furniture giant Steelcase, reportedly assisting the company into turning into the “industry innovator” standard. He also became the interim director of athletics at University of Michigan from 2014 to 2016 and at Ford he focused on the introduction of the Ford Smart Mobility project – the unit that has to do everything with connected car tech, autonomous vehicles, car sharing and others.
In addition, the management shakeup also includes Jim Farley moving up as executive vice president for global markets, longtime PR Svengali Ray Day is being replaced by Mark Truby and we also noticed that Hackett will be reporting to Executive Chairman Bill Ford.