Ford in crisis: “Furniture expert” James Hackett to be the new boss?
Ford boss Mark Fields is leaving the second largest American automaker. The successor will be James Hackett, head of the subsidiary Smart Mobility, which is responsible for autonomous driving, reported the magazine “Forbes”. Hackett has only been in the automotive industry for three years, but is already considered a visionary but also a renovator.
The share price has collapsed at times, and massive job cuts have been announced: around 10 percent of the workforce and personnel positions in North America and the Asia-Pacific region are to be cut. Automaker Ford is in crisis and 56-year-old CEO Mark Fields is to be blamed. He promised a change from Ford as a car manufacturer to a mobility provider. For this, Fields has pushed billions in investments, reports the automobile week. But these investments in the future are still not paying off and investors are getting more and more nervous. Mark Fields only took over the helm of the Detroit company around three years ago.
The new guy has to fix it now
Now Fields has to go and will be replaced by James Hackett, the head of the subsidiary Smart Mobility, which is responsible for autonomous driving, reported the magazine “Forbes”. He has only been a member of the supervisory board since 2013 before he took over the future unit at Ford. But Hackett grew up in a completely different industry: the furniture industry. He led Steelcase, a furniture manufacturer from Michigan, until 2014. The now 61-year-old started there in 1981.
His new responsibilities
At Ford, costs now have to go down in order to get the company back on its feet. To do this, the image should be polished up. Hackett will not be able to avoid making massive cost savings in Europe as well. But the new boss seems to be able to do that: In the industry he has the reputation of being a change maker and renovator. He also had to implement a restructuring program at the furniture manufacturer Steelcase, but offered help in personal conversations with the laid-offs. Communication seems to be his strength and he will have to use this often in the future.