In a surprising announcement Tuesday, three-year Ford CEO Jim Hackett will step down October 1, as the company’s massive restructuring plan has so far failed to pass muster with shareholders.
After the interim two-month transition period, COO Jim Farley will take over as the company’s new chief executive. Farley is a 13-year Ford veteran, after his most recent appointment just five months ago. In his new role, he will oversee some of the company’s most important launches in years, including the Ford Mustang Mach-E‘s mass production, as well as the revived Ford Bronco and the fourteenth-generation F-150.
“I love Ford and I am honored by the opportunity to serve and create value for Ford’s employees, customers, dealers, communities and all of our stakeholders,” Farley said Tuesday. “Jim Hackett has laid the foundation for a really vibrant future and we have made tremendous progress in the past three years. I am so excited to work together with the whole Ford team to realize the full potential of this great company in a new era.”
For his part, Jim Hackett has seen Ford’s seismic shift, both in terms of product lineups and focus on technology, since his tenure began in 2017. After former CEO Mark Fields was ousted in favor of Hackett, the former Steelcase executive embarked on an $11 billion restructuring plan. The shakeup included focusing on mobility as a core tenet of Ford’s future development, including autonomous driving. In the past two years, the Blue Oval also heavily shifted its production toward trucks and SUVs, severely culling its passenger car lineup down to the Mustang.
As he announced his departure, Hackett said, “My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future. [Farley] has been instrumental in crafting our new product portfolio and redesigning our businesses around the world.”