Jim Hackett (left), Jim Farley (right)

From one Jim to another, Ford CEO Jim Hackett has announced his retirement from the company at the end of September, with current COO Jim Farley named as his replacement. Come October 1, Farley will be the Blue Oval’s new president and CEO and will join the company’s board of directors. Hackett, who turned 65 years old in April, has been in charge of Ford since May 2017, overseeing a significant business overhaul that included restructuring operations, invigorating the product portfolio and reducing bureaucracy.

“I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernise Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future. Our new product vision – led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150 and Bronco family – is taking shape,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman at Ford.

“We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much nimbler, which was apparent when we quickly mobilised to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic,” he added.

Following his retirement, Hackett will continue on as a special advisor to Ford through March of 2021. “My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future. 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,” said Hackett.

Jim Hackett (left), Jim Farley (right)

“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,” he added.

Farley will enter his new role with a heap of experience, as the 58-year-old spent 17 years in Toyota leading the more youthful Scion brand before being named vice-president and general manager of Lexus. He joined Ford in 2007 as global head of marketing and sales, with managerial positions in Lincoln, Ford South America, Ford of Europe and all Ford global markets.

In April 2019, Farley was chosen to lead Ford’s New Businesses, Technology & Strategy team, helping the company determine how to capitalize on powerful forces reshaping the industry – such as software platforms, connectivity, AI, automation and new forms of propulsion. He was named chief operating officer in February of this year.

“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. 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,” said Farley.