DEARBORN, Mich. – It was just a few months ago that Ford CEO Mark Fields was celebrating the comeback of the Ford Bronco and announcing a news Ford F-150 truck.
But now Fields is stepping down from his CEO position at the Dearborn-based automaker amid pressure from Ford's Board of Directors.
Ford Motor Co.'s share prices are down 40 percent since Fields took the CEO job in 2014. He's been with the company 28 years. He was president of the America's division before he was named chief executive officer.
This move comes after big cuts were announced last week. Ford announced it would be cutting $3 billion annually from operations and would lay off about 1,400 salaried workers from its headquarters and other Ford design and management centers in North America and China.
The man replacing Fields is Jim Hackett, who joined Ford's Board of Directors in 2013. Since 2016, Hackett has been the chair of the unit which develops autonomous vehicles. He's also the former CEO at Steelcase and the former interim athletic director at the University of Michigan.
Who is Mark Fields
Fields, who joined Ford in July 1989, led the turnaround of Ford's businesses in the Americas, Asia and Europe through a focus on delivering product excellence, innovation and operating efficiency.
As chief operating officer, Fields oversaw Ford's global business operation and most skill teams, including product development, manufacturing, purchasing, as well as marketing, sales and service. He also led the company's weekly Business Plan Review process and is overseeing the company's most aggressive product introduction schedule in its 111-year history and its fastest global manufacturing expansion in 50 years.
Prior to that role, Fields served as executive vice president and president, The Americas, a position to which he was named in October 2005. He led the development and implementation of a comprehensive restructuring plan for the company's North America business that resulted in turning around heavy losses to record profits, significantly improving brand favorability and improving operating efficiency.
Fields also led Ford's South American operations to profitability and its conversion from a legacy product lineup to all-new global products.
From 2002 to 2004, Fields served as group vice president, Premier Automotive Group (PAG), and from 2004 to 2005 served as executive vice president, Ford of Europe and PAG, where he led all activities for Ford's European-based business and its former global luxury brands – Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin. There, he led the development of a comprehensive product plan and delivered PAG's first-ever profit.
From 1998 to 2002, he served at Mazda Motors Corporation, first as global marketing and sales director and then as president and managing director. Fields led Mazda through a major restructuring and product renaissance. It was during his leadership of Mazda that he was named a Ford Motor Company officer in December 1999.
Before then, he served in a variety of positions in both South America and North America, including managing director of Ford Argentina.
Fields served as chairman of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan's 2013-2014 community giving campaign – achieving the organization's highest year-over-year increase in giving in 17 years. He was named a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum and CNBC's Asian Business Leader – Innovator of the Year.
He holds an Economics degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey (USA) and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.
Fields took over the CEO role at Ford on July 1, 2014.