Motor Trend has just published its 13th-ever “Power List”, highlighting the biggest, most impactful people in the automotive industry today, and as you might expect, America’s No. 2 automaker had a number of names make the cut. Importantly, though, Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett was not among the collection of 50 names, as he continues to acquaint himself with the business before effecting too many big changes. His predecessor, Mark Fields, was pushed out last May, later being named to a Senior Advisor position at TPG Capital.
Number 49 on the 2018 Motor Trend Power List is Ford’s Global Performance Vehicle Chief Engineer, Jamal Hameedi, who could be considered the father of the original Ford SVT Raptor. These days, Motor Trend says he’s working on the Ford Ranger Raptor and Shelby GT500 Mustang, both of which are highly-anticipated performance products.
Ford President of North America Raj Nair came in at No. 44 this year, slipping from No. 17 last year. The executive served high up on the product development side of things up until this past summer, helping bring about the Ford GT supercar that won Le Mans in the GTE Pro class in 2016. Now, “he turns more to the business side,” Motor Trend writes, leading Ford’s all-important North American operations.
Like Jamal Hameedi, Joe Hinrichs was unranked last year; this year, he makes the Motor Trend Power List in position No. 15. He was named President of Global Operations over the summer, in which role he’ll oversee product development, purchasing, quality, manufacturing, labor, environmental, and safety engineering.
Ford President of Global Markets Jim Farley, formerly Ford President of Europe, Middle East & Africa, is also on the rise, moving up to No. 14 from No. 16 last year. He was an architect of Ford’s fruitful turnaround in Europe, and now oversees Ford’s business units worldwide, including developing a strategy for electrified and autonomous vehicles.
Finally, Dave Pericak, formerly the Director of Ford Performance, and now Ford’s Director of Engineering for Unibody Vehicles, sits in No. 9 on the 2018 Power List. He’s enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past few years, being put in charge of the 2015 Ford Mustang (S550) program before moving on to guide Ford Performance, and help direct Ford’s racing efforts in IMSA, the FIA WEC, and NASCAR. Like Raj Nair, his work was crucial to the success of the Ford GT.
We’re eager to see where Jim Hackett ends up on the 2019 Motor Trend Power List. He has so far been a relatively quiet President and CEO, but his decades of experience in business leadership and his innovative approach to solving problems are sure to propel him to a prominent position in the automotive industry. Before being named to his current position, Hackett led Ford’s Smart Mobility subsidiary, and his intelligent, consumer-focused approach to autonomous vehicle technology are critical assets as self-driving cars continue marching toward feasibility.