Jim Hackett to retire, COO Jim Farley to take over as president, CEO of Ford

Farley to take over Oct. 1

Jim Hackett (right), president and CEO of Ford Motor Company, and President of Global Operations Jim Farley (left) speak at the reveal of the new 2020 Ford Explorer SUV at Ford Field on January 9, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. The new 2020 Explorer is the sixth generation of Ford's all-time best-selling SUV. The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) begins January 14 with a press preview, and opens to the general public January 19. (Bill Pugliano, 2019 Getty Images)

DETROIT – Jim Hackett is retiring as president and CEO of Ford Motor Company, and current COO Jim Farley will take his place, the company announced Tuesday.

Hackett, 65, who has led Ford since 2017, will hand over the reins to Farley, 58, on Oct. 1

“I love Ford and I am honored by the opportunity to serve and create value for Ford’s employees, customers, dealers, communities and all of our stakeholders,” Farley said. “Jim Hackett has laid the foundation for a really vibrant future and we have made tremendous progress in the past three years. I am so excited to work together with the whole Ford team to realize the full potential of this great company in a new era.”

Jim Hackett retires as CEO of Ford Motor Company, effective Oct. 1. Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley will take on the role following Hackett's retirement. For more information: https://www.clickondetroit.com/.

Hackett guided Ford into the era of smart vehicles while the company restructured operations, invigorated the product portfolio and reduced bureaucracy.

“I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “Our new product vision -- led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150 and Bronco family -- is taking shape. We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble, which was apparent when we quickly mobilized to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic.”

Farley, who has global experience and a successful track record, worked with Hackett over the past three years to develop and execute Ford’s Creating Tomorrow Together plan, which aimed to transform Ford into a higher-growth, higher-margin business.

“Jim Farley matches an innate feel for cars and customers with great instincts for the future and the new technologies that are changing our industry,” Bill Ford said. “Jim’s passion for great vehicles and his intense drive for results are well known, and I have also seen him develop into a transformational leader with the determination and foresight to help Ford thrive into the future.”

Farley 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. In April 2019, he was chosen to lead Ford’s New Businesses, Technology & Strategy team, helping the company determine how to capitalize on forces reshaping the industry, such as software platforms, connectivity, AI, automation and new forms of propulsion.

He was named chief operating officer in February.

Hackett, who will continue as a special advisor to Ford through March, said the time is right to retire.

“My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future,” Hackett said. “The hardest thing for a proud, long-lived company to do is change to meet the challenges of the world it’s entering rather than the world it has known. I’m very proud of how far we have come in creating a modern Ford and I am very optimistic about the future.

“I have worked side-by-side with Jim Farley for the past three years and have the greatest confidence in him as a person and a leader,.He has been instrumental in crafting our new product portfolio and redesigning our businesses around the world. He is also a change agent with a deep understanding of how to lead Ford in this new era defined by smart vehicles in a smart world.”

UAW responds

Here is a statement from UAW President Rory Gamble:

Having worked with Jim Farley through the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, I know that Ford Motor Company is in steady hands that will continue the long Ford family tradition of leadership that respects its workforce and keeps communications open in a challenging industry.

“Jim Hackett’s tenure came at a crucial time in the automotive industry. His legacy will be how he handled the pandemic and the incredible 2020 effort to partner with the UAW to produce critically needed Personal Protective Equipment.

“We wish Mr. Hackett well in his retirement and our members look forward to working with Mr. Farley to produce quality and iconic vehicles as we all navigate this unprecedented and challenging time.”

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.