Jim Hackett’s appointment to the role of CEO last month wasn’t the only big change to take place in the upper levels of Ford Motor Company; the automaker also expanded the roles of Jim Farley and Joe Hinrichs, who are now President of Global Markets and President of Global Operations, respectively, while bestowing communications and government affairs responsibilities upon Executive Chairman Bill Ford.
That’s a big shakeup for Ford, but not so extraordinary for a twenty-first-century automaker, reports Automotive News.
“The whole world is shuffling the deck right now,” says Center for Automotive Research Chairman Emeritus Dave Cole. “The industry’s being divided into haves and have-nots. Ford is a ‘have’ company. They have the resources to do whatever it takes to be successful, but they just have to move themselves aggressively in the right direction.”
Cole says that disruptive tech firms and stock market performance have forced automakers to alter their approach. Ford is doing just that, trying to effect a “flatter” management structure, as CEO Jim Hackett called it in a recent interview. According to Automotive News, the automaker is still working out the details, sorting out how its new structure can help speed decision-making and make the company quicker on its feet, but it may help that Hackett has only eight direct reports, versus the eighteen higher-ups who reported directly to his predecessor.
Those reports are:
- Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks
- Chief Technology Officer Ken Washington
- General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer Bradley Gayton
- President of Global Operations Joe Hinrichs
- President of Global Markets Jim Farley
- President of Mobility Marcy Klevorn
- Group VP of Global Strategy John Casesa
- Group VP of Human Resources and Corporate Services Felicia Fields
“The clock speed at which the world is moving, and our competitors, really requires us to make decisions at a faster pace,” said Bill Ford when CEO Jim Hackett was first tapped to lead the company last month. “And we have to trust our people to move fast. It’s not command and control.” The automaker hopes that with its new leadership structure, it will be able to do just that.