Ford Motors CEO and President Jim Hackett announced unexpectedly on Tuesday that he will be retiring. He also revealed that he will be replaced by COO Jim Farley who was also elected to the board of directors.
"I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future," Bill Ford, the firm's executive chairman, said in a statement acquired by Business Insider.
Ford went on to describe how the company's new product vision, led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150, and the Bronco family, was coming to fruition. This new vision also includes plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity and a much more nimble structure.
Hackett became CEO of Ford back in 2017 and had been responsible for an $11 billion restructuring plan. This plan however failed to impress Wall Street and investors.
Ford added that Hackett and Farley will ensure a “smooth leadership transition over the next two months" and that Hackett will remain as an advisor through March of 2021. Farley will officially take on the reigns on October 1.
"My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future," Hackett said in a statement. "The hardest thing for a proud, long-lived company to do is change to meet the challenges of the world it's entering rather than the world it has known. I'm very proud of how far we have come in creating a modern Ford and I am very optimistic about the future."
The new decision will make Farley the fourth Ford CEO since the Great Recession which nearly destroyed the carmaker. However, it seems to be a promising one as Ford shares saw a nearly 3% increase during premarket trading Tuesday after the announcement was released.
Promising or not, the move was definitely unexpected. Just back in February, Hackett had publicly expressed that he planned on staying in his current CEO position.