Ford chief executive Mark Fields leaves in management shake-up as boss of driverless car unit Jim Hackett replaces him

 
Rebecca Smith
Mark Fields has been at Ford for 28 years
Mark Fields has been at Ford for 28 years (Source: Getty)

The chief executive of Ford is being replaced by another Ford executive, Jim Hackett.

Mark Fields has chosen to retire after 28 years with the firm.

Read more: Ford to cut 10 per cent of salaried jobs across the pond

Hackett oversaw the Ford subsidiary that works on driverless cars, Ford Smart Mobility.

The US car giant's shares have fallen more than 40 per cent during Fields' three-year tenure. Ford sales fell seven per cent in the US and 11 per cent in Europe in April compared to the same period last year.

The firm has also faced shareholder concerns that it has not built on its core auto business and has fallen behind in the race to develop driverless and electric vehicles.

Last month, Tesla overtook both Ford and General Motors in terms of market cap, despite selling a fraction of the cars delivered each year.

Chairman Bill Ford said: "We’re moving from a position of strength to transform Ford for the future. Jim Hackett is the right CEO to lead Ford during this transformative period for the auto industry and the broader mobility space."

He’s a true visionary who brings a unique, human-centered leadership approach to our culture, products and services that will unlock the potential of our people and our business.

Ford said Hackett will be focused on modernising Ford's business, including tapping into artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and 3D printing.

The announcement came amid a management shake-up that included three new appointments reporting to Hackett. Jim Farley was appointed vice president and president of global markets, Joe Hinrichs becomes executive vice presidennt and president of global operations, while Marcy Klevorn has been appointed executive vice president and president of mobility.

It also follows recent news that Ford was cutting 1,400 jobs in North America and Asia.

Ford said it will offer voluntary retirement and offer financial incentives to some 15,000 workers in an effort to reach the number as part of an "accelerated attack on costs". The latest cuts will not affect Europe or South America, according to the car firm.

Read more: Big Data will never replace Big Ideas: Why cultural intelligence matters

Related articles