New Ford CEO Farley Announces Leadership Changes
On Oct. 1, Jim Farley officially took the reins as CEO of the Ford Motor Company. Farley, the 11th CEO in company history, didn’t waste any time laying out his plans for the automaker and announcing a swath of changes in company leadership.
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Ford’s multipoint plan under Farley
Farley laid out his ambitions to see Ford “compete like a challenger,” promising an approach that capitalizes on but is more aggressive than that of ousted CEO Jim Hackett.
“During the past three years, under Jim Hackett’s leadership, we have made meaningful progress and opened the door to becoming a vibrant, profitably growing company,” Farley said. “Now it’s time to charge through that door.”
To help Ford kick the door off the hinges, Farley is pledging smarter allocation of capital, resources, and talent to drive a higher return on investment and capitalize on its strengths. One of Ford’s strengths — commercial vehicle sales — looks to become an even bigger point of success with software services aimed at keeping commercial clients busy and happy.
Ford will, of course, focus on a broad and successful product portfolio. Farley highlighted electric vehicles as being a priority, specifically products like the F-Series and Mustang as well as vehicles for the Lincoln luxury brand.
Priorities for Farley include a stronger focus on the Americas and International Markets, Europe, and China; increased development of vehicle connectivity, technology, and software; becoming a leader in new business opportunities like autonomous vehicles and mobility; and increasing the diversity of Ford’s talent pool.
Lawler promoted to CFO, Falotico to focus fully on Lincoln
Farley’s tenure as CEO kicked off with changes in key leadership roles. Chief among those was John Lawler succeeding Tim Stone as CFO effective Oct. 15. Stone, who joined Ford in 2019, moves into the role of COO and CFO for AI software company ASAPP.
Lawler has been with Ford for 30 years. He was most recently the CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles and vice president of Mobility Partnerships, overseeing Ford’s New Businesses group. Ford will name Lawler’s successor in that role at a later date.
“John knows our company inside-out, has a clear view and great ambition for what Ford can be, and articulates what’s needed to get there,” Farley said. “As CFO, he will help assure we have the means to fund those ambitions.”
Joy Falotico, the 2019 Automotive Marketer of the Year, is stepping aside from the role of chief marketing officer to focus fully on her role as president of Lincoln Motor Company. Falotico will report to Ford President of The Americas and International Markets Kumar Galhotra, who says the accelerated growth that Lincoln has seen under Falotico is “just the beginning.”
“This change will allow Joy to focus on accelerating Lincoln’s global growth through great vehicles and services and a truly differentiated customer experience,” Galhotra said.
Ford also announced that chief information officer Jeff Lemmer will retire effective Jan. 1. His replacement will be announced at a later date. Dale Wishnousky, Ford Europe’s VP of Manufacturing, will also retire at year’s end. His replacement is Kieran Cahill, who has already begun work in his new role.
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