Michigan (US), May 23: Ford Motor Company, one of the world’s biggest automobile giants has named American businessman and former football player, James Hackett as its new Chief Executive Officer following the retirement of Mark Fields on May 22.
Hackett, 62, a turnaround expert who for the past year has led the Ford unit developing self-driving cars and related projects, replaces Mark Fields, 56, who took over three years ago at the peak of the U.S. auto industry's recovery from the crisis last decade.
Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said he wanted Hackett to speed up decision-making and cut costs, but did not offer specifics on how the new CEO should change operations at the U.S. No. 2 automaker. "The clock speed at which our competitors are working …requires us to make decisions at a faster pace," Ford said.
Ford, once the most financially secure of the 'Big Three' Detroit automakers, and the only one not to take U.S. government money in the U.S. auto industry bailout a decade ago, reported record profit in 2015, but now finds itself under pressure on all sides as overall U.S. auto sales fall.
Rival General Motors Co is aggressively targeting Ford's share of the lucrative North American truck and sport utility business, the source of 90 percent of Ford's profit.
Bill Ford and other descendants of company founder Henry Ford effectively control the automaker through a special class of shares, but many investors share his concern that the company is running out of time.