Ford ousts CEO Fields, names ex-Steelcase chief Jim Hackett

CEO Mark Fields sacked because Ford is so far behind on the future - Electric Cars
CEO Mark Fields sacked for a person who understand the future of the automobile – electric and autonomous

Ford Motor Co. has fired CEO Mark Fields and will replace him with James Hackett, head of the automaker’s Smart Mobility arm, as part of a broad management shakeup, according to reports by Forbes and other news organizations.

Ford has scheduled a news conference at its Dearborn headquarters for 9:45 a.m. Eastern time Monday.

Ford would not confirm the reports, saying in a statement: "We are staying focused on our plan for creating value and profitable growth. We do not comment on speculation or rumors.

Hackett, 62, former CEO of office furniture maker Steelcase, was on Ford’s board from 2013 until last year, when he took charge of Ford Smart Mobility.

Ford created that subsidiary last year to handle its investments in autonomous vehicles and new mobility services. Fields has been pouring billions into self-driving cars and ride-sharing experiments as its traditional car business has struggled in a slowing U.S. market.

In other reported moves, Jim Farley, president of Ford’s Europe, Middle East and Africa business, will oversee Ford’s regions, global marketing and sales, and Lincoln Motor Co., The Detroit News reported. Joe Hinrichs, head of the Americas, will manage global product development, manufacturing and labor affairs, purchasing, and environmental and safety engineering, The News said, citing anonymous sources.

Marcy Klevorn, vice president of information technology and chief technical officer, will take over Hackett’s role as chairman of Ford Smart Mobility, according to The News, which said the company finalized the decision in a Friday board meeting.

Forbes reported that Ray Day, Ford’s head of communications, will be replaced by Mark Truby, who currently heads Ford’s Asia Pacific communications.

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