Ford replaces CEO in push to transform business

Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Mark Fields speaks during a media preview of the 2018 Lincoln Navigator at the New York International Auto Show in New York. Ford is replacing its CEO amid questions about its curr

Ford is replacing its CEO amid questions about its current performance and future strategy.

Those concerns - expressed during an extra day of meetings - appear to be resulting in action just days later: CEO Mark Fields will retire, according to the Wall Street Journal. Ford planned to make an announcement on Monday, the officials said.

Fields will be replaced by Jim Hackett, who joined Ford's board in 2013, this person says.

Hackett is also head of the company's smart mobility unit, which is focused on its ride-hailing and car-sharing efforts.

Silicon Valley electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc was valued at $51 billion on Friday, more than Ford's $43 billion. In this role, Hinrichs will oversee Ford's global Product Development; Manufacturing and Labor Affairs; Quality; Purchasing; and Sustainability, Environmental and Safety Engineering; Hinrichs has been serving as Ford executive vice president and president, The Americas, since December 2012. Mr. Fields has been planning to launch driverless cars early next decade, but it has been far behind Tesla and GM on electric-car development and executives have struggled to explain how Ford will make money on services other than developing, producing and selling automobiles.

Hackett also served as the interim athletic director at the University of MI from 2014 to 2016.




Directors were increasingly alarmed by the collapse of Ford's business operations, despite larger profits from the company's F-Series pickups truck range.

Is now the time for new leadership at Ford?

Hackett will have to placate investors anxious about Ford's sliding USA market share and product decisions. It closed Friday at $10.87 per share, and pre-open trading on May 22 was at $11.11 right after the news about Fields and Hackett.

In the first quarter of this year, profit and sales fell more sharply as Ford invested in new technology including electric and self-driving cars, two areas where it trails some competitors such as GM.

According to a report from Forbes, which quotes unnamed insiders close to the matter, Mark Fields has left the automaker, and James P. Hackett will take his role.

Fields also had the tough job of following CEO Alan Mulally, another auto industry outsider who was hired away from Boeing to lead Ford. In addition, Farley will oversee Lincoln Motor Company and global Marketing Sales & Service.

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