Published: Tue, May 23, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

A history of the men who have led Ford Motor Co


Following the announcement of Fields departure and Hackett's huge promotion, Bill Ford compared his auto maker's new CEO to Mulally who averted disaster in the last economic meltdown. He will be succeeded by former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett.

The report cites Ford insiders as saying that Fields, who took over as chief executive in mid-2014, lacked the "ability to rally employees around a common mission" or make "critical" strategic decisions.

The share price has lost more than a third of its value in three years and it was supplanted in April by upstart electric-car maker Tesla in terms of market capitalization.

Fields, a 28-year Ford veteran, had been under pressure because the automaker's shares had fallen 40 percent since he took over three years ago from Alan Mulally, the previous chief executive.

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The former Steelcase (SCS) CEO and turnaround specialist will replace Ford CEO Mark Fields effective immediately.

"Mark Fields was given the almost impossible task of making the utterly conventional auto manufacturer, Ford Motor Company, into a high-tech information-style company with share values to match", said Jack Nerad, the editorial director for the vehicle shopping site Kelley Blue Book.

These changes come at a time when Ford is going through a tough time.

GM is gearing up an "onslaught" of trucks for the North American market, the automaker's President Dan Ammann told Reuters last week, including a new generation of the Chevrolet Silverado large pickup truck that competes with Ford's primary profit machine, the F-series. During that time, offices moved away from closed offices and cubicles into a more open plan, which necessitated a major change in furniture. Investors also worry that Ford is falling behind its rivals.

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Joe Hinrichs, 50, Ford's executive vice president and president for the Americas, since December 2012, was appointed executive vice president and president for global operations.

As part of the shake-up, several Ford executives are taking on new roles.

"The CEO had been there since late 2013, early 2014, so to me a three-year tenure in that position, really the guy should have been just barely getting started in whatever agenda he might have been trying to enact", he said.

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