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Ford Announces Senior Leadership Changes

Feb. 7, 2020
Jim Farley will become COO and President of Automotive division. Joe Hinrichs will retire after February.

Ford Motor Company announced a series of changes to its senior leadership today. Jim Farley, formerly president of new businesses, technology and strategy, will advance to the position of COO, and the president of Ford’s automotive division, 19-year Ford veteran Joe Hinrichs, will retire. Hau Thai-tang, chief product development and purchasing offer, will assume additional responsibilities related to Enterprise product line management and connectivity.

According to CEO Jim Hackett, Farley is a good fit for the role. “Jim’s passion for great vehicles and his intense drive for results are well known,” said Hackett in a statement. Farley started with Ford as global head of marketing in 2007 before moving on to lead Lincoln, Ford South America, Ford of Europe and all Ford global markets. In April 2019, Farley became Ford’s president of new businesses, technology and strategy, where he helped Ford plan for how it would integrate future technologies like automation and connectivity into its business plan going forward.

In a statement, Farley said he is “thrilled and humbled” by the opportunity. “Ford is blessed with great people and an incredible brand,” he said. With Hinrichs’ retirement, Farley is now the likely CEO apparent.

Also last April, Joe Hinrichs took on what would become his last role at Ford before retirement, president of Automotive. He was responsible for overseeing product development, purchasing, sales and marketing and regional business units. Previously, he had been president of global operations.

Hackett hailed Hinrichs for his contribution to Ford’s resilience during his tenure: “Joe was instrumental to Ford’s ability to survive the Great Recession a decade ago without bankruptcy or taxpayer bailout,” he said. He also credited Hinrichs’ performance as president of automotive.

“Joe oversaw our global portfolio of iconic vehicles, helped forge a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with the UAW and was regularly sought out as an authority and promoter of smart global trade,” said Hackett.

Hau Thai-Tang, chief product development and purchasing offer will continue in his role as leader of product development and purchasing under Jim Farley, with additional responsibilities for Enterprise product line management and connectivity. Hackett called him the “primary architect” for Ford’s approach to integrating vehicle architecture with the software stack.

Farley and Thai-Tang’s promotions and Hinrichs’ retirement are all effective March 1.

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