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Ford names Jim Hackett CEO

Monday, May 22, 2017 - 02:01

Ford replaced Mark Fields, responding to investors' growing unease about the U.S. automaker's stock price and prospects. Fred Katayama reports.

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Ford has a new CEO. His name is Jim Hackett. Until now, the 62-year-old executive led Ford's self-driving car unit. And before that he ran furniture maker Steelcase. He is expected to shake-up Ford to make it more competitive. Hackett replaces Mark Fields, who spent less than three years on the job. Ford's shares rose on the news. They had fallen almost 40 percent during Field's reign as CEO. Ford executive chairman Bill Ford: (SOUNDBITE) BILL FORD, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, FORD (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I'm very thankful to Mark and, as I said, he had a really terrific career here, but this is at a time of unprecedented change, and you all know this, you follow this industry. In fact, you've seen all the changes that we've been talking about for some time. Well, they're here now, and time of great change in my mind requires a transformational leader. And we, thankfully, we have that in Jim." With U.S. sales down, Ford's profits are trailing those of larger rival General Motors. Also, its market capitalization has fallen behind electric car maker Tesla. Ford's new chief executive Jim Hackett: (SOUNDBITE) JAMES HACKETT, FORD CHIEF EXECUTIVE, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The biggest challenge I had there, and we will have here, is to have everybody see the future, that they can see their opportunity in that. And then secondly, that it's our right to win there, that we don't have to cede that to anybody, Tesla or any of them. It's our our right to win there. And, so, I love that challenge because I know how to do that." Jack Nerad is the executive editorial director at Kelley Blue Book: (SOUNDBITE) JACK R. NERAD, EXECUTIVE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, KELLEY BLUE BOOK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The biggest challenge I had there, and we will have here, is to have everybody see the future, that they can see their opportunity in that. And then secondly, that it's our right to win there, that we don't have to cede that to anybody, Tesla or any of them. It's our our right to win there. And, so, I love that challenge because I know how to do that." Ford said last week it would cut 1,400 staff positions in North America and Asia.

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Ford names Jim Hackett CEO

Monday, May 22, 2017 - 02:01