Ford CEO Jim Hackett Not Going Anywhere, Says Ford CEO Jim Hackett

ford ceo jim hackett not going anywhere says ford ceo jim hackett

A rocky past year hasn’t dislodged Jim Hackett from his lofty perch in the Glass House, nor does the CEO feel he’s destined for the door. This assertion comes after a dismal earnings report born of recalls, a botched product launch, and ongoing streamlining efforts, the latter of which hasn’t given Ford’s stock the bounce many had hoped for.

Why does Hackett feel so confident? Friendship.

Specifically, friendship with the one person who really matters: Chairman Bill Ford.

As reported by Bloomberg, the bond between Hackett and Ford is a strong one, perhaps insulating the CEO from flack arising from the company’s poor showing on Wall Street. It’s generally agreed that failure to move share prices in a sustained upward direction is what doomed Hackett’s predecessor, Mark Fields. Since that departure, Ford’s stock has resisted that long sought-after climb.

“Harmony in businesses is a good story,” Hackett told Bloomberg on Monday. “And it doesn’t burst out of lack of accountability at all. It’s more, frankly, of a shared view of how much work we have in front of us to transform the company to be really viable for another 50-plus years.”

In a recent internal town hall, Hackett said the grim earnings report had no bearing on his job. He’s staying put.

The close connection between CEO and chairman has bought Hackett precious time. Shareholder opposition arose quickly under Hackett’s reign, with the CEO’s sedan-sinking plans and desire for electric mobility and automation leaving many wondering if the gamble would pay off. The automaker’s concurrent efforts to streamline its global businesses, bolster its Chinese strategy, and forge an alliance with Volkswagen gave investors food for thought, and a steady march of tried-and-true product introductions (read: trucks and SUVs) placated car-loving shareholders with visions of big margins.

That strategy hit a snag when the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator launched last summer with serious quality control issues, forcing Ford into an expensive repair operation. The damage resulting from the launch earned the automaker a serious profit dive (and its investors a drastically diminished dividend). It also led to the punting (officially, retirement) of automotive boss Joe Hinrichs earlier this month and the elevation of Jim Farley to chief operating officer. That promotion came with a $2 million raise.

“Others will say, well, why has it taken so long? Or why are you contemplating this so rigorously? It’s because we’re balancing the needs of shareholders versus employees, suppliers, dealers,” Hackett said. “We’re not willing to lose the hearts and minds of our people to have one quarter exceed earnings.”

Ford’s stock is currently the lowest it’s been in a decade. At last report, the company’s share price was $7.56, down from $9.18 on February 4th (right before the earnings report landed). This, after the stock appeared to be stabilizing, and perhaps even recovering, in the summer months of 2019. When Fields left in May of 2017, share prices were flirting with $11.

[Image: Adam Tonge/TTAC]

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  • Michael S6 Michael S6 on Feb 25, 2020

    Several years ago, I bought Ford stock given it's generous dividends. I figured that it was priced cheaply and can't go down much. Bad mistake as Hackett hacked down Ford stock value by 35 percent. He eliminated the sedan lines and introduced two half baked SUVS. The explorer having to take remedial classes and still show up at the bottom of the class. The Escape chugging along on a 3 cylinder engine with cheap interior. Oh well, at least I have a tax deduction for two straight years on capital gain losses.

  • TS020 TS020 on Feb 26, 2020

    "I'm not going anywhere" -Disney CEO Bob Iger, one week ago. Probably.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird Sears and JC Whitney also had similar dune buggy kits. The VW accessories along with the running gear for legal use just bolted on. Hmm Amazon? A Bradley GT or Kelmark kit using an electric “skateboard” platform would also be cool.
  • Inside Looking Out Cadillac now associates with rap music. In the past it was all about rock'n'roll. Rap is environmentally friendlier than rock'n'roll.
  • EBFlex This is nothing compared to what Ford is doing. The fake lightning is seeing massive price increases for 2023. Remember how they self pleasured themselves about the fake lightning starting under $40k? In 2023, the price jumps by a very Tesla like $7,000. And that’s not the biggest price jump. And much less talked about, the government fleet discounts are going away. So for a basic 3.3L Explorer, the price is jumping $8,500. S basic F150 is also now $8,500 more. Im sure the same people that complained about the oil companies making “obscene profits” will say the same thing about Ford.
  • Bobbysirhan Sometimes it seems like GM has accepted that the customers they still have are never going to come to their senses and that there aren't any new dupes on the horizon, so they might as well milk their existing cows harder.
  • Buickman how about LowIQ?