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Ford CEO Fields to leave as Hackett takes over

Monday, May 22, 2017 - 13:39

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Ford Motor Co Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields is leaving the company amid a loss of confidence in his leadership, and the carmaker is set to make an announcement Monday, Forbes reported on its website, citing a person familiar with the situation.

[SINGAPORE] Ford Motor Co Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields is leaving the company amid a loss of confidence in his leadership, and the carmaker is set to make an announcement Monday, Forbes reported on its website, citing a person familiar with the situation.

Fields will be replaced by James P Hackett, head of its Ford Smart Mobility LLC subsidiary, according to Forbes. The company can't confirm any media speculation, a representative at Ford China's communications department said by phone.

The reported CEO departure comes amid a more than 30 per cent plunge in shares of the automaker since Fields took the helm on July 1, 2014, with shareholders assailing management over the decline and company's strategy. Fields has been under scrutiny by Ford's board, which scheduled extra meeting time to drill him on his plans for reversing the company's fortunes, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

Other executives will assume larger roles, including James Farley, president of Ford's Europe, Middle East and Africa business, and Joseph Hinrichs, head of Ford Americas, Forbes reported, citing people familiar with the changes.

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Mr Fields has been pouring billions into self-driving cars and ride-sharing experiments as its traditional-car business has struggled far more than at General Motors Co in a slowing US market. Ford's first-quarter adjusted earnings fell 42 per cent, while GM appears on pace for another record annual profit. Net income at Ford plunged 38 per cent last year.

Mr Hackett was appointed in March 2016 to head Ford Smart Mobility, a unit formed to accelerate the company's foray into emerging mobility services, according to his profile on the company's website. Mr Hackett was chief executive officer of Steelcase Inc., the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based office furniture maker, for two decades before retiring in 2014. He joined Ford's board of directors in 2013.

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