Ford Motor Company today announced that Jim Farley has been named chief operating officer of Ford, reporting to Jim Hackett, the company’s president and CEO, as Ford continues trudging toward self-proclaimed transformation into a higher-growth, higher-margin business selling smart, connected vehicles and services. Ford said that Joe Hinrichs is retiring as Ford’s President, Automotive after less than one year in the position. (2020 Ford Explorer – OK, Not Good in Crash Ratings, Two New Safety Recalls at Ford Motor – F-Series and Explorer, Driving 2020 Explorer: Big Size and Complexity, Bigger Price, Ford Shakes Up Top Management. Again )
The changes come as Ford is restructuring operations, investing in the product portfolio and reducing bureaucracy. Ford lost $1.7 billion (42 cents a share) during Q4 2019 compared to a loss of $100 million, or 3 cents a share, year-over-year. This included a previously disclosed $2.2 billion charge for underfunded pensions. Adjusted for one-time items, Ford said it gained 12 cents a share during the year, compared with 30 cents a share a year ago. Revenue fell 5% to $39.7 billion from $41.8 billion a year ago. Global sales, share, earnings, and profits all decreased, as new product launches such as the Explorer were problematic. (Ford Posts Weak Q4 Earnings Losing $1.7 Billion, Weak Ford 2018 Financial Results Prove Need for Shakeup)
“Jim Farley is the right person to take on this important new role,” Hackett said. “Jim’s passion for great vehicles and his intense drive for results are well known.”
Farley, 57, joined Ford in 2007 as global head of Marketing and Sales and went on to lead Lincoln, Ford South America, Ford of Europe and all Ford global markets in successive roles. Since April, Farley has led Ford’s New Businesses, Technology & Strategy team, helping the company determine how to capitalize on the powerful forces reshaping the industry – such as software platforms, connectivity, AI, automation and new forms of propulsion.
Farley now will lead Ford’s drive to strengthen its Automotive operations and deliver a sustainable global EBIT margin of at least 8%. He will oversee all of Ford’s global markets and automotive operations, including Product Development; Purchasing; Enterprise Product Line Management; Manufacturing & Labor Affairs; Marketing, Sales & Service; and Quality & New Model Launch. He also will retain leadership of Ford Smart Mobility, Ford’s AV LLC and Ford’s partnership with Argo AI.
In addition, Ford announced that Hau Thai-Tang, chief product development and purchasing officer, will take on an expanded role, reporting to Jim Farley. Thai-Tang, 53, will continue to lead Product Development and Purchasing, while adding responsibility for Enterprise Product Line Management and connectivity.
“Hau will be the primary architect as we bring together the vehicle architecture and software stack to create products, services and experiences our customers will love,” Hackett claimed.
All the changes announced will be effective March 1.