Ford Exec Shakeup
- Jim Farley becomes chief operating officer, reporting to President and CEO Jim Hackett. Farley will be responsible for all global markets and automotive operations, Ford Smart Mobility and autonomous vehicles
- Joe Hinrichs, president, Automotive, retires after a highly accomplished 19-year career with Ford (see compete letter to his leadership team upon replacement, below)
DEARBORN, Feb. 7, 2020 – Ford Motor Company today announced that Jim Farley has been named chief operating officer of Ford, reporting to Jim Hackett, the company’s president and CEO, as Ford continues to carry out its Creating Tomorrow Together strategic plan.
Ford also announced that Joe Hinrichs is retiring as Ford’s president, Automotive, after a highly accomplished 19-year career with the company.
The changes come as Ford is moving with urgency to fully integrate and accelerate its transformation into a higher-growth, higher-margin business by leveraging smart, connected vehicles and services. Since 2017, Ford has made important progress in transforming the company in the face of sweeping technological change and disruption in the auto industry while working to improve the fitness of its base business – restructuring operations, invigorating the product portfolio and reducing bureaucracy.
“Jim Farley is the right person to take on this important new role,” Hackett said. “Jim’s passion for great vehicles and his intense drive for results are well known. He also has developed into a transformational leader with the imagination and foresight to help lead Ford into the future.”
Farley, 57, 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. Since April, Farley has led Ford’s New Businesses, Technology & Strategy team, helping the company determine how to capitalize on the powerful forces reshaping the industry – such as software platforms, connectivity, AI, automation and new forms of propulsion.
Farley now will lead Ford’s drive to strengthen its Automotive operations and deliver a sustainable global EBIT margin of at least 8 percent. He will oversee all of Ford’s global markets and automotive operations, including Product Development; Purchasing; Enterprise Product Line Management; Manufacturing & Labor Affairs; Marketing, Sales & Service; and Quality & New Model Launch.
He also will retain leadership of Ford Smart Mobility, Ford’s AV LLC and Ford’s partnership with Argo AI.
“I’m thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to work with Jim Hackett and the entire Ford team to advance our vision to design increasingly intelligent vehicles and connect them to the world around us, all to make life better for our customers and communities,” Farley said. “Ford is blessed with great people and an incredible brand, and together we will build a very bright future.”
In addition, Ford announced that Hau Thai-Tang, chief product development and purchasing officer, will take on an expanded role, reporting to Jim Farley. Thai-Tang, 53, will continue to lead Product Development and Purchasing, while adding responsibility for Enterprise Product Line Management and connectivity.
“Hau will be the primary architect as we bring together the vehicle architecture and software stack to create products, services and experiences our customers will love,” Hackett said. “We are moving forward with an integrated approach to vehicles and connected services, all anchored in an obsession for the customer, great design and a commitment to strong returns.”
Hackett lauded Hinrichs’ contributions to Ford.
“I thank Joe for his tremendous leadership over the past two decades,” Hackett said. “Joe was instrumental to Ford’s ability to survive the Great Recession a decade ago without bankruptcy or taxpayer bailout, and successfully headed Ford’s operations in Asia Pacific and North America.
“Most recently, Joe oversaw our global portfolio of iconic vehicles, helped forge a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with the UAW and was regularly sought out as an authority and promoter of smart global trade.”
All the changes announced will be effective March 1.
Joe Hinrich Letter To Tea, Upon RemovalTo Automotive Leadership Team,
It was just over eight months ago when we all came back together as one automotive team. The organization to be one again so the business units and skill teams could work together to serve our employees, customers and shareholders. In those quick eight months we accomplished a lot together, starting with re-instituting a governance process that helped us run the company better with more visibility and a shared sense of purpose (BPR/ASM/SAR).
We concluded the investment in Rivian, literally stealing it away from GM in the last days. We took a leadership stand on climate change and, after unsuccessful attempts to bring California and the White House together, forged our own path forward with a fuel economy agreement with CARB. We helped the USMCA agreement finally come to life. We worked in the background to help the US and China finally find common ground on trade.
We worked through a very difficult and costly launch of the Explorer and Aviator in Chicago. We then successfully launched Escape/Corsair in Louisville, Transit in Kansas City, Super Duty in Kentucky Truck Plant and OHAP, Puma in Craiova, Territory BEV in Nanchang, and recently Kuga (Valencia) and Escape (Chongqing). The painful lessons learned from the Explorer/Aviator launch will serve the company well in the future – including this year when you will launch so many great new products and really start to introduce the power of connected vehicles with the F-150 and Mustang Mach-E launches.
We watched the UAW strike GM for six weeks at a cost of over three billion dollars, and then reached a better deal with our partners in the UAW in just two days ourselves. We worked through the planned closure of Bridgend and closed our plant in Sao Bernardo. We worked together through the Smart Redesign process to reshape the management structure of our company and significantly reduce our salaried costs. We watched the Manufacturing and IT teams, working with all skill teams, design the Factory of Tomorrow.
We delivered dramatic restructuring in Europe and South America. We formed the International Markets Group (IMG). We developed a new strategic plan for our business in China. We finalized and announced the global alliance with Volkswagen and the joint venture with Mahindra in India.
We delivered record profits from our global FCSD team. We launched many Customer Experience pilots globally and started to build momentum in changing the Ford culture in focusing on the customer journey wheel. We started down the important journey to implement ERP systems in our company worldwide. We started to bring the power of the new Enterprise Product Line Management (EPLM) to life …
We watched JD Power place both the Ford and Lincoln brands in the top five of the US Initial Quality Study for the first time … and then received more JD Power APEAL awards than anyone else. We finally started to see the powertrain warranty cost curves start to bend down in the last few months … with more to come.
We came together in early January, 2020 and committed to each other that we would all work together to make this a great year. We openly discussed the reasons why we have missed our plan for four straight years … and then went out and started major initiatives to make a difference, from new material cost targets, business unit sprints and offsites, and a renewed energy toward our sales commitments.
I am proud of how the team came together this year to change the performance of the company. Globally, we beat the sales program in January for the first time in a long time. We used to talk about Profitable Growth for All. The plans over the last three years, combined with the dramatic collapse of our sales in China after we had built such a strong business, have delivered significant losses in global volume and market share. We started to talk about how we can grow the company again. This discussion has to continue.
As the company moves forward today, I want to reach out and thank you for all that we have done in these eight short months. There were stumbles, but there were many more successes. The most important thing we do as leaders is create an environment for our people to be successful – providing clarity of direction and priorities, resources and help when they need it, and support for them as teammates. It is always about Working Together as One Ford team. Leadership is about service to others. Please never forget that.
We are so proud of the work all of you do in the community. Ford's community giving is unlike any other company. That is a testament to the culture and the employees. I was so honored to lead the United Way campaign for Southeast Michigan which raised over $47M for our community last year. There are so many other examples … please keep this commitment to service and community front and center in the future.
Many of you know that I personally fought for nearly a decade to get Bronco back into the Ford portfolio. In fact, after we showed the Bronco concept in 2004 it was clear there was customer demand for this product. We finally were able to add the Bronco and the small off-road utility product in the 2015 cycle plan as we headed to UAW negotiations that year. This year you get to launch those great products. I will be proudly watching as that finally happens.
Thanks again for all the support, teamwork, and friendship. You know I am always here to help you if I can.
I do have one last request. Please pass this note along to your teams and all our wonderful Ford employees as I unfortunately will not get the chance to say thanks myself. To each and every employee at Ford Motor Company – thank you for all your love and support. It has been an honor to serve with you.
Good luck. Keep in touch.