C-Suite News

Ford CEO Jim Hackett out, to be replaced by COO Jim Farley

Jim Hackett, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company delivers the keynote address to media and guests at the 2018 CEO.

Photo by Sam VarnHagen, courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company has announced that President and CEO Jim Hackett, 65, will retire. Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley, 58, will take over that role, effective October 1. Hackett will continue to serve as a special advisor to the company through March 2021.

Ford's Executive Chairman Bill Ford, who is the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford as well as tire magnate Harvey Firestone, joined Farley and Hackett at a press conference on Tuesday morning to share the news.

Hackett took over the role of CEO on May 22, 2017, succeeding Mark Fields. While Fields concentrated much of his Public energy on visions of the tomorrow of 50 years from now, Hackett marked his tenure with moves designed to help Ford's bottom line today while planning for the future.

"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," Hackett said. "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."

During his tenure, Ford has discontinued most of its cars while bringing SUVs and trucks to the forefront. Hackett oversaw the launch of the new Escape and Explorer in the U.S. as well as the debut of the next-generation of Ford F-150, a new-for-the-U.S. Ranger, the company's best-selling model, and fresh lineup infusions in the form of the Mustang Mach-E all-electric crossover, the Bronco family of products, and a bevy of Mustang variants.

His time at the top will also be remembered for efforts to streamline the business practices of a company that could fairly be described as bloated with bureaucracy. While plants were shuttered to modernize production and jobs were lost as Ford moved to a more direct and modern way of conducting business, Hackett also approved changing Ford's marketing and advertising to a new agency model, changing out to BBDO as creative lead over W+P, which had served the company for 75 years.

Hackett also formed a partnership with Volkswagen Group to develop and distribute electric vehicle technology - a costly venture for companies to undertake on their own. He is also credited with encouraging the development of smart mobility solutions and sustainability practices.

However, Wall Street investors have not been kind to the company during Hackett’s tenure, even as the company allocated $11 billion toward restructuring in an effort to be better prepared for the future. The company is expected to turn a $4-5 billion profit in the second half of 2020 according to Ford CFO Dhivya Suryadevara. In contrast, Tesla, a company that turned its first annual profit ($104 million) in 2019 and has notable quality control, reliability, and human resources issues, has seen its stock soar in recent years.

Prior to his tenure at Ford, Hackett was vice chairman of Steelcase, the global leader in the office furniture industry.

This story is developing and will be updated as new details are available.

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Hardcore off-road SUV

Ford Bronco Raptor is real and on its way in 2022

Ford's video gave up very little on the new SUV.

Ford

The long-awaited Ford Bronco went on sale earlier this year and overwhelming demand has many buyers waiting months for the opportunity to own one. Ford isn't resting on that success, however, and is already hitting the gas on the SUV with the tease of a new model. The even longer-awaited Ford Bronco Raptor is coming, though we don't yet have many details to share, but Ford CEO Jim Farley shared a video to Twitter this morning that gives us a little to go on. More importantly, the video confirms that the Bronco Raptor is coming, which is music to our ears.

Ford Bronco Raptor Pause the video at the exact right moment, and you can catch a blurry glimpse of the Bronco Raptor.Ford

Being a tease, it's not surprising that we don't get a big, clear picture of the SUV. We can see that the Bronco Raptor's grille is different, with the Ford name spelled out in bold letters, just like the brand's other Raptor vehicles. We can also see that the Bronco's daytime running lights have shifted to orange.



Ford did not share any other details, but other Raptor models paint an enticing picture for the future hardcore Bronco. The SUV should get upgraded off-road suspension, brawny bodywork, and fat all-terrain tires. One of the biggest questions is what Ford will choose for the Bronco Raptor's powertrain. Two engines are currently offered for the standard Bronco, including a turbo-four and turbo-six. Rumors have pointed to the possibility that the Explorer ST's EcoBoost engine could make an appearance in the Raptor, which would bring up to 400 horsepower to the SUV. There may also be more than one wheel and tire option, which is the case for the upcoming F-150 Raptor, where buyers can choose to upgrade the stock 35-inch tires to 37-inchers.

There's no word on release date or pricing, but it's a safe bet that the Bronco Raptor will outpace its "normal" counterparts by more than a few dollars. Regardless of price, Ford should sell a ton of the SUVs, assuming it can keep up with demand on the production side.

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The Bronco will get two new colors for 2022.

Ford

The new Ford Bronco was in such high demand that buyers were in for a long wait, even before the pandemic and microchip shortages wreaked havoc on automotive supply chains and production. Even now, with little hope of a speedy vehicle delivery, buyers are still lining up to get the new SUV, and to reward those whose dreams will have to wait until 2022, Ford is debuting two new colors: Eruption Green and Hot Pepper Metallic.


2022 Ford Bronco Eruption Green and Hot Pepper Metallic will be available. Ford


Ford revealed the colors at this year's Woodward Dream Cruise. The first-generation Bronco, which ran from 1966 through 1977, was the featured vehicle at the cruise, which presented the opportunity to introduce new colors for the upcoming model year. The two new colors won't join the Bronco's existing color catalog until order banks open for the new model year later in 2021. Ford says that the current color catalog which includes Antimatter Blue, Lightning Blue Metallic, and Rapid Red Metallic will be available through the end of the 2021 model year.


2022 Ford Bronco Many Bronco buyers will have to wait until 2022 to get their new SUV.Ford


The new colors may end up being the shades of choice for many current hopeful Bronco buyers. Along with pandemic-related delays, Ford's rollout of the new Bronco has been plagued by hardtop-related cosmetic issues. The problem is big enough for the automaker to replace the top of every hardtop Bronco built so far. This includes vehicles already purchased, the rare few sitting on dealers' lots, and even recently produced vehicles still hanging around the factory. Buyers still waiting for their Broncos to be built will be waiting a while, to the point that Ford says many orders will be pushed into the new model year. Ford is offering Bronco-related merchandise and promises a price lock for all buyers whose orders have been pushed, and now it appears they'll have two new colors to choose from as well.

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