Former Toyota and Lexus executive steps up to the top job at Ford after 13 years with the US car giant.
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Ford has appointed a new global boss – former Toyota and Lexus executive Jim Farley – after current CEO Jim Hackett announced he will retire in October, following three years in the top job.

Mr Farley joined Ford 13 years ago – in 2007 – after 17 years in senior roles at Toyota and Lexus USA.

Most recently, Mr Farley held senior international roles with Ford; until his promotion to CEO he was chief operating officer, had been previously responsible for future strategy, and also oversaw the company’s global markets.

The two executives will work side-by-side over the next two months during a handover period.

Mr Hackett, 65, joined Ford in May 2017 and was hired for his expertise in turning businesses around.

Mr Farley, 58, is only the sixth global Ford CEO in 20 years; he will take over the role from October 2020.

Jim Farley, left, and Jim Hackett, right, launch the new Ford Explorer at a motor show in the US.

Mr Farley began his automotive career with Toyota in 1990 but joined Ford in 2007. His grandfather worked at Henry Ford's River Rouge Plant in 1914.

In a media statement, the company said under Jim Hackett’s leadership “Ford moved aggressively into the new era of smart vehicles and drove a deeper focus on customers’ wants and needs.”

“At the same time, Ford improved the fitness of the base business – restructuring operations, invigorating the product portfolio and reducing bureaucracy,” the Ford media statement said.

William Clay Ford Junior, the great-grandson of founder Henry Ford and executive chairman of the company, said in a media statement: “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.”

Announcing the new boss, Mr Ford added: “Jim Farley matches an innate feel for cars and customers with great instincts for the future and the new technologies that are changing our industry.”

Jim Hackett, right, was instrumental in securing a deal with Volkswagen to jointly develop utes, vans and electric vehicles.

Mr Farley joined Ford in 2007 as global head of marketing and sales, and went on to lead Lincoln, Ford South America, Ford of Europe and all Ford global markets in successive roles.

In April 2019, Mr Farley was promoted to head Ford’s New Businesses, Technology & Strategy team, responsible for software platforms, connectivity, artificial intelligence, automation, and “new forms of propulsion”.

Mr Farley was named chief operating officer in February 2020.

Mr Hackett will continue as a special advisor to Ford through March of 2021.

“I have worked side-by-side with Jim Farley for the past three years and have the greatest confidence in him as a person and a leader,” said Mr Hackett in a media statement.

“He has been instrumental in crafting our new product portfolio and redesigning our businesses around the world. He is also a change agent with a deep understanding of how to lead Ford in this new era defined by smart vehicles in a smart world.”

Global Ford CEOs:
Jim Farley October 2020 onwards
Jim Hackett May 2017 to October 2020Mark Fields July 2014 to May 2017
Allan Mulally Sept 2006 to July 2014
William Clay Ford Junior October 2001 to September 2006
Jacques Nasser January 1999 to October 2001