By on April 10, 2019

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Ford Motor Company veteran Marcy Klevorn is set to retire come October, leaving her position as head of mobility in need of filling. No need for new blood in Ford’s C-suite, however, as there’s apparently room on Jim Farley’s plate.

Farley, Ford’s head of global markets, will add a new hat to his wardrobe even before Klevorn, 59, leaves the Glass House. Klevorn, whose tenure at Ford spans 36 years, will move to a (brief) new role after Farley dons the title of president of businesses, technology and strategy. There’s new responsibilities and a new title for global operations head Joe Hinrichs, too.

Effective May 1st, Farley will become responsible for Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s autonomous vehicle arm, research and advanced engineering, corporate partnerships, and global data insight and analytics.

Hinrichs, appointed president of automotive, will oversee product development, purchasing, manufacturing, and marketing and sales, also effective May 1st. He’ll also oversee Ford’s global business units in North America, South America, Europe, China, and other international markets, plus the Ford and Lincoln brands. Ford’s expectation of Hinrichs? Reaching a pre-tax global margin of 8 percent.

Between May and October, Klevorn will serve as chief transformation officer, reporting to CEO Jim Hackett. Klevorn took on the role of mobility chief in June 2017, immediately after Hackett’s arrival at Ford.

“In the past two years, we have made tangible progress in improving the fitness of our business, overhauled our regional strategies, created a winning product portfolio, and are working to transform Ford to succeed in an era of profound change and disruption,” Hackett said in a statement. “With this strong foundation in place for our auto and mobility businesses, we can now accelerate our transformation.”

Business matters aside, the elevation of Farley and Hinrichs has some envisioning what a post-Hackett world might look like.

“This sets up the horse race for who will replace Hackett,” Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader, told Bloomberg. “Joe gets the job of producing today’s vehicles that make the money and Jim gets the job of creating the vehicles of the future that are not making money.”

[Image: Ford]

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15 Comments on “As Ford’s Mobility Chief Heads Out the Door, Hackett’s Top Deputies Take on New Roles...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Man, if Pete Delorenzo is right about Farley:

    http://www.autoextremist.com/current/2019/3/1/ford-on-the-precipice-of-irrelevance.html

    Ford is in for some tough times. Sadly, it seems advancement through Ford’s C-suite has been completely decoupled from experience or competence. I imagine Farley is not too happy about Hackett’s very reasonable pull back on the mobility front. Bums me out that this is all happening during Lincoln’s revival… I could easily see Dumb and Dumber screwing this all up.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      I was gonna say, Jim Farley? God help them.

      I just looked, and PMD has a note on this in this week’s “On The Table”:

      http://www.autoextremist.com/on-the-table1/2019/4/8/april-10-2019.html

      But, this may be good news for Ford, rather than bad.

      A nugget:

      “This is even bigger news from Ford because ‘New Business’ is a euphemism for the fact that Farley is clearly being moved off to the side where his damage to the core business will be minimized. Ford’s chief Bad Actor and enfant terrible now gets to play with the esoteric nonsense that Hackett values so much while putting his head firmly in the clouds. I’m already hearing from the denizens of Dearborn who are ecstatic with the changes.”

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Wow, great play. I am sure they will starve his divisions of resources, then blame him for their non-performance as they show him the door.

        The big question though is what’s next. Would love a new Focus hybrid….

  • avatar
    Raevoxx

    What keeps popping up in my mind, is Hackett being the “Give-Up King of Ford”.

    Passenger cars? Can’t compete, give up.
    Mobility? Pie in the sky, give up.
    Product plans? Too ambitious, give up.
    Refreshing product and keeping it relevant instead of letting it wither on the vine, and then cut it off when it’s on it’s last legs? It’s Standard Procedure at Ford, to give up.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    What a massive waste of money this boondoggle has been. Think of the cars that could have been made from this money.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      yeah, and think of how much money they’d still have lost selling those cars!

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        At least they could have lost money on cool cars instead of fiestas and fusions.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Clueless Internet Car Person.

          Companies exist to make money selling things profitably to people who actually buy stuff. They’re not obligated to lose money making things just so you can argue about them on the Internet.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            So selling 150k cheap clown cars at a loss is worse than selling 50k next gen Crown Vic’s at a loss. Despite the latter actually improving corporate image among consumers. You lost money on 100k more cars and your worse off for it outside of simply losing money.

            Regardless you still lost money on driverless tech that now has consumers and stockholders wondering why the company is being run by high school dropouts on crack.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “They’re not obligated to lose money making things just so you can argue about them on the Internet.”

            Um they kind of are, why else was FCA losing $14,000 on every 500e sold?

            https://www.reuters.com/article/chrsyelr-ceo-evs/fiat-chrysler-ceo-please-dont-buy-fiat-500e-electric-car-idUSL1N0O71MS20140521

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            JimZ said “Companies exist to make money selling things profitably to people who actually buy stuff.”

            OK. So the Ford Motor Company should have closed down in 2006, or 2007, or 2008. If not earlier.

            (Would you like to introduce a little more subtlety to your argument? Cause, you know, you’re the only one who’s not clueless.)

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            “So selling 150k cheap clown cars at a loss is worse than selling 50k next gen Crown Vic’s at a loss. Despite the latter actually improving corporate image among consumers. You lost money on 100k more cars and your worse off for it outside of simply losing money.”

            Yes, absolutely. Those 150k clown cars were old. A “next gen” Crown Vic would also add development costs to its losses. And the notion that a new Crown Vic would “improve corporate image among consumers” is a pipe dream.

            Ford has spent the last 50 years teaching Americans that it makes cheap crap and is barely solvent. It’s gonna take another 50 years of good carS and business…. not a new Crown Vic literally nobody wants…. to turn that around. The clock is ticking….

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Sporty,

            True about focus and fusion already built elsewhere. Though an executive car like a new Crown Vic would certainly look better than hundreds of people owning FiSTs pretending they’re boy racers with annoying exhausts that we now find ourselves in. It will take Ford decades to recover from that.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Survey: What are Ford’s real objectives? (Try to look past all the flailing around.)


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