Ford names Jim Farley COO in leadership shakeup in which executive Joe Hinrichs is retiring

Business

Ford Motor President of Automotive Joe Hinrichs will retire and the company has named its new business and technology chief Jim Farley as its chief operating officer, the company announced Friday morning.

Farley will take over broader responsibilities from Hinrichs, including all global markets and automotive, the company said. Farley will continue reporting to Ford CEO and President Jim Hackett, who has been under fire from Wall Street regarding progress to an $11 billion global restructuring plan.

Shares of the company were down about 2% Friday morning to roughly $8.10 per share. Ford stock is down 11.3% during the past year, including less than 1% this year. 

“Jim Farley is the right person to take on this important new role,” Hackett said in a release. “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.”

Hinrich’s retirement is unexpected. The 19-year Ford executive was at the White House on Jan. 29 representing with automaker as President Donald Trump signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. He also was on the automaker’s fourth-quarter earnings call with investors on Tuesday.

Jim Farley, Ford Motor Company Executive Vice President and President of Global Markets, reveals the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 at the 2019 North American International Auto Show during Media preview days on January 14, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan.

Bill Pugliano | Getty Images

Farley will retain leadership of Ford Smart Mobility, Ford’s autonomous vehicle operations and the company’s partnership with Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle firm.

Farley, 57, joined Ford in 2007 as global head of marketing and sales from Toyota Motor’s Lexus brand. He’s led Ford’s Lincoln luxury brand, Ford South America, Ford of Europe and all of the company’s global markets. Since April, Farley has led Ford’s new businesses, technology & strategy team.

Ford also announced Hau Thai-Tang, chief product development and purchasing officer, will take on an expanded role, reporting to Farley. Thai-Tang, 53, will continue to lead product development and purchasing, while adding responsibility for enterprise product line management and connectivity.

Hackett, in a statement, thanked Hinrichs “for his tremendous leadership over the past two decades.”

All the changes announced will be effective March 1.

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