By Mike Colias 

Ford Motor Co.'s Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley will take over as chief executive, succeeding the retiring Jim Hackett, who is more than three years into a turnaround effort that has yet to lift profits and the auto maker's depressed share price.

The company said Tuesday Mr. Farley, 58 years old, will succeed Mr. Hackett, 65, on Oct. 1. Mr. Hackett will remain in an advisory role through next spring, the company said.

Ford is in the midst of a global restructuring as it tries to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on auto makers forced to shut down factories this spring. Ford said last week it lost about $1.9 billion in the second quarter, though the result was less severe than it originally forecast.

Mr. Farley emerged in February as the leading contender to take over, when the former strategy chief and longtime marketing executive was elevated into the chief operating officer role. His promotion coincided with the sudden retirement of Ford's president of automotive, Joe Hinrichs who essentially had been serving as a co-No. 2 with Mr. Farley in what many viewed as a competition for the top job.

Mr. Hackett was appointed in May 2017, praised by Ford's Executive Chairman Bill Ford as a change agent who could guide the company's long-range strategy in an industry buffeted by disruption, from big bets on electric and driverless cars to incursions by tech giants looking to take more control of the car's cockpit.

But beyond mapping the future, Mr. Hackett has grappled with more-pressing problems in Ford's manufacturing business today that continue to weigh on profits.

Troubles have popped up in Ford's U.S. business, its main profit generator. The company stumbled last year on the first redesigned Explorer SUV in nearly a decade, one of the auto maker's most important vehicle launches in years. Quality problems on certain models also have led to higher warranty costs, which swelled to around $5 billion, roughly 30% higher than past years, Mr. Farley told analysts in February.

Write to Mike Colias at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 04, 2020 09:51 ET (13:51 GMT)

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