Ford announced that Jim Farley will be appointed chief operating officer.
Ford Motor Company issued a surprise executive shake-up announcing that Joe Hinrichs, president of the automotive division and a 19-year Ford veteran, will retire. Jim Farley, aged 57, president of new business technology and strategy, who joined Ford in 2007 as global head of Marketing and Sales, will become COO effective March 1.
“I’m thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to work with Jim Hackett and the entire Ford team to advance our vision to design increasingly intelligent vehicles and connect them to the world around us, all to make life better for our customers and communities,” Farley said through an official company statement. “Ford is blessed with great people and an incredible brand, and together we will build a very bright future.”
Hinrich’s departure is unexpected, and comes after the company’s revenue fell in the fourth quarter 5% to $39.7 billion and warned that its fourth-quarter results would include a $2.2 billion charge related to its pension plans, according to Automotive News. For the full year, Ford posted net income of $47 million, down from $3.7 billion in 2018. Ford Credit posted full-year earnings before taxes of $3 billion, its best results in nine years.
Ford also announced Hau Thai-Tang, chief product development and purchasing officer, will take on an expanded role, reporting to Farley, according to CNBC. Thai-Tang will continue to lead product development and purchasing, while adding responsibility for enterprise product line management and connectivity.