Ford CEO Jim Hackett announces retirement, Jim Farley to take over in October

Ford's current president and CEO is retiring and the company's chief operating officer will take over leadership roles within the Detroit automaker later this year.

Jim Hackett, who steered the Dearborn-based company since 2017 and led the charge on integrating more smart technology and user experience into their vehicles, announced the plan with the company in a news release Tuesday morning. Hackett will stay on as a special advisor to Ford through March 2021. 

“My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future,” Hackett said. “The hardest thing for a proud, long-lived company to do is change to meet the challenges of the world it’s entering rather than the world it has known. I’m very proud of how far we have come in creating a modern Ford and I am very optimistic about the future."

Jim Farley, who will take over the company Oct. 1, worked closely with Hackett on Ford's transition toward more self-driving initiatives and smart design within the company's vehicles. 

With the automotive industry quickly changing and adapting to more technology, Detroit's big 3 have sought to adapt with those changes. Evidence of that effort in Ford came through with the company's Creating Tomorrow Together plan. That's included new models like the Mustang Mach-E and the new series of classic Bronco models.

“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,” Bill Ford, executive chairman, said. “Jim’s passion for great vehicles and his intense drive for results are well known, and I have also seen him develop into a transformational leader with the determination and foresight to help Ford thrive into the future.”

Farley first joined Ford in 2007 as global head of Marketing and Sales, before moving throughout several managerial roles within the company. In 2019, Farley was chosen to lead the company's new Businesses, Technology & Strategy team, which worked to infuse AI, connectivity, automation into new vehicles. 

He was named Chief Operating Officer in February this year.

“I love Ford and I am honored by the opportunity to serve and create value for Ford’s employees, customers, dealers, communities and all of our stakeholders. Jim Hackett has laid the foundation for a really vibrant future and we have made tremendous progress in the past three years. I am so excited to work together with the whole Ford team to realize the full potential of this great company in a new era.”