DEARBORN, Mich. -- Ford Motor Co, announced that Jim Hackett, president and CEO, will retire effective Oct. 1.
Hackett, 65, the former CEO of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Steelcase, joined Ford in 2017. In the press release announcing his retirement, the nation’s second largest auto maker credited Hackett for “aggressively” moving Ford “into the era of smart vehicles” and for improving Ford’s “fitness” by “restructuring operations, invigorating the product portfolio and reducing bureaucracy.”
“My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future,” Hackett said. “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."
“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,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “Our new product vision – led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150 and Bronco family – is taking shape. We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble, which was apparent when we quickly mobilized to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic.”
Hackett served as CEO of Steelcase for 19 years before announcing he would retire from the office furniture manufacturing giant at the end of February 2014. He led the company through periods of boom and bust, including the Great Recession.
His retirement from Steelcase proved to be short lived. In November 2014 he took over as interim athletic director of the University of Michigan, his alma mater. While a student at UofM, Hackett played center under College Football Hall of Fame coach Bo Schembechler. During his tenure as athletic director, Hackett made his mark by hiring Jim Harbaugh as head football coach.
Hackett will be succeeded by Jim Farley, who joined Ford in 2007 as global head of marketing and sales and most recently has overseen Lincoln, Ford South America, Ford of Europe and other global markets. Hackett will continue as a special advisor to Ford through March of 2021.
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