Ford replaces CEO in push to transform business

Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Mark Fields speaks during a media preview of the 2018 Lincoln Navigator at the New York International Auto Show in New York. Ford is replacing its CEO amid questions about

Ford Motor Co confirmed Monday it is ousting its chief executive Mark Fields and replacing him with the head of the company's unit overseeing self-driving auto efforts.

A record pre-tax profit for Ford, achieved under Mr Fields in 2015, was largely down to strong sales of its new aluminium-sided F-150 pickup truck.

We've contacted Ford for comment.

"We are staying focused on our plan for creating value and profitable growth", the spokesman said.

"You have to have one foot in today ... but also one foot in the future", Fields told reporters last month.

"Ford has no plausible approach towards mobility and e-vehicles yet and lags behind GM in that respect, but the crucial point is that changing the CEO is not likely to change this". He is a former executive of furniture giant Steelcase and Ford board member with more than 20 years worth of experience.

It's not just the drop in sales, market share, earnings and the stock price (down 40 percent since Fields took the reins) that has Ford investors alarmed.

Sources close to the development have said that the shakeup has been a result of Executive Chairman Bill Ford and the rest of the board losing confidence in Fields' leadership. Marcy Klevorn, Ford's chief technical officer, will replace Hackett as the head of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, Ford's future mobility unit.




Fields has been under scrutiny by Ford's board, which scheduled extra meeting time to drill him on his plans for reversing the company's fortunes, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

James Farley, the head of Ford's European, Middle Eastern, and African operation, and Ford North America chief, Joseph Hinrichs, will be moved to larger positions, Forbes reports.

Fields outlined a variety of initiatives to confront challenges from technology companies such as Alphabet Inc that want to control a future of autonomous, data intensive vehicles.

Among Fields' bets on technology is a plan to invest $1 billion over the next five years in tech startup Argo AI.

Last week, the carmaker said it planned to cut around 10% of its global workforce.

Ford shares are expected to open 0.55% higher from their Friday close at $10.93 each in NY, but have fallen more than 10.4% since the start of the year.

Ford is working on an electric sports utility vehicle with 300 miles of range, but it is not due out until 2020.

Fields earned $22.1 million in 2016.

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