Unlike Ford, GM is Confident in its CEO
The automotive world got a bit of a shake this month as it was announced that Ford CEO Mark Fields was being fired. Sorry, we meant that Mark Fields “retired” and was replaced by Jim Hackett less than three years after Fields was promoted to the CEO role at the Big Three automaker. According to the Chicago Tribune, Mark Fields was shown the door after Ford stock fell in price about 40% since he took over in July 2014. Stock prices fell, but the company experienced record pretax profit during his tenure. If Fields can be replaced, are other Detroit CEOs in trouble?
Mary Barra became the CEO of General Motors a mere six months before Mark Fields took his seat and has since weathered a few controversies in the company. Unlike the leadership at Ford, the board of directors is by all accounts satisfied with Barra’s leadership of its company.
One of the key differences between Barra and Fields is that Barra has her company organized to make quick movements, when necessary, to follow trends and protect itself. When smaller SUVs became popular in the US, Barra quickly arranged for the Chevy Trax to move from Canada and other markets into the United States. On the other hand, Ford is just now getting ready to introduce a new compact crossover, as new car sales are starting to fall. Barra also made decisions necessary to advance the company with autonomous car technology and forming partnerships with Lyft to get involved in the world of car sharing. Fields’s Ford was not nearly as nimble.
The winds of change might be churning up a storm at Ford, but at GM, those winds are being harnessed into meaningful movement toward the future of cars. We shall see how it all plays out in the future, but Ford should be prepared for Barra ready to take them down.
News Source: Chicago Tribune