Published: Sun, May 28, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

Hackett In, Fields Out at Ford

Hackett In, Fields Out at Ford

The 114-year-old automaker said Fields [pictured above] is retiring at age 56 after 28 years at the company.

Fields has been succeeded by Jim Hackett, a 62-year-old who has headed Ford's Smart Mobility LLC since March 2016.

"The clock speed at which the world is moving and our competitors are working really requires us to make decisions at a faster pace", Ford said. Now the rapid fire changes are "a sign that Executive Chairman Bill Ford isn't wasting time when it comes to transforming the company his great-grandfather founded". Before joining Ford, Hackett also served as the CEO of the office furniture company Steelcase. Ford said in its official statement that Fields "is retiring", but it is reported that Fields has been fired as a result of the company's slumping stock price, which has dropped nearly 40 percent while he was CEO.Shares rose 2.48% to US$10.87 in United States pre-market trading. Still, shareholders don't like falling stock prices. Still, GM faces unhappy investors of its own with its stock slightly below the $33 initial public offering price from November 2010.

In addition, Ford appointed Mark Truby, 47, vice president, Communications, effective immediately, reporting to Bill Ford. "We have to modernize the business" and move "decisively to address underperforming areas", he said. Electric auto maker Tesla Inc. even passed Ford in market value earlier this year. The U.S. auto market is expected to slow this year. It is evident that Ford Motor Co. has spent heavily on the self-driving research. The icon is also battling a new cadre of would-be transportation players who have Detroit on edge. Before his promotion, Hackett was chairman of Ford Smart Mobility, a subsidiary focused on autonomous cars.

So why retool a company based on something so removed from its fundamentals? Trotman's biggest contribution to the company as CEO was an attempt to move Ford's various brands worldwide to start sharing parts and platforms to help lower production costs.

There are a lot of threads to the story of Ford Motor Company over the last several years. Presidential candidate Donald Trump criticizes the move, even though Ford plans to put new vehicles into the MI plant.

Hackett graduated from the University of MI with a finance degree in 1977 and played center for the football team.

The appointment of Mr Hackett signals an even greater emphasis on greener transport ahead. Ballew has been leading Ford's global data and analytics teams since December 2014, including development of new capabilities supporting connectivity and smart mobility.

Vikings' Zimmer: 'I'll be back shortly with one eye or two'
He has an appointment with doctors on June 5 and hopes to receive clearance to resume working at that point. Obviously, I've thought about it. "But this is not going to keep me from coaching one way or another".

And we haven't even gotten to electric-car maker Tesla, which despite never posting an annual profit, recently passed both Ford and GM to become the most valuable automotive company in the USA, according to market cap.

Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally retires. That quote came from none other than Mark Fields, only a few short months ago when Ford announced its purchase of Argo AI. Ford turned over $141.5 billion in 2016.

November 2015: Ford reaches a new contract with the United Auto Workers union. Mulally retired after putting the company on a solid footing.

"The biggest challenge I had (at Steelcase), and I will have here, is to have everybody see the future".

Ford also stressed that the company needs to be quicker in making decisions as it develops robotics, self-driving technology and creating components with 3-D printing. He is credited with predicting that the office landscape would shift away from cubicles to an open space environment, giving employees the flexibility to work where they want. He stepped down in 2014.

The former Steelcase CEO voluntarily recalled wall panels of cubicles at the Pentagon that weren't up to higher fire standards; later reviews said the updated walls kept the fires from spreading on the morning of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Tichy said of a story that has also been recounted in management guides.

"I think he's going to have to prove himself", Gordon said. She says with tech stocks, you can use your imagination.

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