Ford has a new frontman in Jim Farley, and the company’s competitive edge in electric vehicle manufacturing may come from the fresh leadership.
The Detroit legacy automaker announced on August 4 that CEO Jim Hackett would be stepping down from his pedestal as the leader of Ford Motor Company. The reigns have been handed to Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley, who has been with the company since 2007.
Ford hired Farley in 2007. In April 2019, Farley was chosen to lead Ford’s New Businesses, Technolgy & Strategy team, which helped the automaker come up with effective strategies to capitalize on the everchanging automotive industry. This included software, Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and electrification.
Bill Ford, the company’s executive chairman, said that Jim Hackett had done things for the automaker in the last three years that have accelerated the company’s transition into new forms of vehicle technology. “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,” Bill Ford said.
Hackett has made it a point since joining Ford to move quickly and efficiently into an era of smart vehicles with a higher focus on the wants and needs of customers, a press release from the automaker stated.
Now, Jim Farley will lead Ford’s plans for the foreseeable future. A proven track record with deep global experience has Bill Ford’s optimism for the future at an all-time high.
A company press release said:
“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.”
Although Ford’s initial plans are not to accelerate into a fully electric lineup of cars, they do have some battery-powered models on the way, led by the Mustang Mach-E and electric F-150, which Farley says is critical to the company’s evolution for years to come.
The two vehicles will compete with the Tesla Model Y and the Cybertruck.
In an interview with CNBC from June, Farley described that along with the Mach-E, the F-150 series and newly-revived Bronco are critical factors to Ford’s growth in the coming years.
“The launches are really critical for our North America profitability and our customers,” he said during the interview. “The Mach-E and the Bronco are brand new products. They will be incremental to us to bring in brand new customers.”
Farley also said that the electric F-150 was developing well, and Ford’s engineers were working to establish a sufficiently operating software infrastructure that would work well with the electrical architecture required for a battery-powered automobile.
Ford’s success relies on dependable leadership that aims to revolutionize the way the company has made cars for over 100 years. For Farley, the company’s success relies on its ability to adapt to the everchanging world of technology and productivity.
Ford’s press release on the company’s new leadership is available below.