Ford has just announced that James P. Hackett is now the official president and CEO to replace Mark Fields. Three other top leaders are given new posts due to the management shuffle. Meanwhile, Ford executive chairman Bill Ford clarifies that he did not fire Mark Fields.
— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) May 22, 2017
The departure of Fields first came out with an earlier report from Forbes saying Ford has fired the CEO. Apparently, sources told the publication that Bill Ford, together with the other board members, have lost confidence in the leadership of Fields.
Sources also mentioned that the appointment of the new CEO also resulted to assumptions of new roles in the top management posts. The report details that Joseph Hinrichs, Ford North America head, and James Farley, president of Ford's Europe, Middle East and Africa, are the other top executives who will assume bigger posts.
In a recent interview with CNBC, however, Ford executive chairman Bill Ford clarified that the company did not fire Fields. According to Ford, the former CEO made the decision to resign.
The retirement of Fields led to the appointment of Hackett, head of Ford Smart Mobility LLC subsidiary. Ford explained that the company needs "a leader who's transformed a company before." He further added that they need to be swift in making decisions and be clearer in communicating now.
Ford also vouched for Hackett. The executive chairman described the new CEO as a real visionary who has the capacity to deliver "unique, human-centered leadership approach" to the products, services and culture of the company. The former noted these qualities of the latter can unleash the potentials of their people and consequently, their business.
Moreover, Ford mentioned that the management shuffle will allow the automaker to "accelerate a strategic shift to capitalize on emerging opportunities." The executive chairman has confirmed through the interview that Farley will now be the executive vice president and president of Ford Global Markets. He also announced that they have appointed Marcy Klevorn to take the post of executive vice president and president of Ford Mobility, while Hinrichs has been appointed as executive vice president and president of Ford Global Operations.
In another report, Hackett has significant accomplishments that helped him achieved the new post. He has worked for 30 years for Steelcase, a giant office furniture firm, and made the company dominate with an "industry innovator" image.
Hackett has also been the Interim director of Athletics at the University of Michigan for two years, where he helped the college football to rise up when it was in deep trouble. Aside from being an Interim director, he also graduated from the same school and played center for Bo Schembechler's Wolverines.