Ford Motor (NYSE:F)
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By Mike Colias and Christina Rogers
Ford Motor Co. said it has appointed strategy chief Jim Farley as its chief operating officer, who will be taking over broader responsibilities from retiring president of automotive Joe Hinrichs.
Ford Chief Executive Jim Hackett was expected to announce the leadership shake-up to employees Friday morning. The Wall Street Journal earlier Friday reported the changes, which take effect March 1.
The move comes three days after Ford missed fourth-quarter earnings targets and issued disappointing profit guidance for 2020. Ford cited problematic launches of key models, including a redesigned Explorer sport-utility vehicle, as a factor for weak results in the second half of last year.
Mr. Hinrichs, a 53-year-old longtime manufacturing guru at Ford, was named president of automotive operations in April, putting him in charge of the company's vast car-manufacturing network globally. At the time, it made Mr. Farley, 57, head of new businesses, strategy and technology, tasking him with charting Ford's course as technological advances like electric and driverless cars disrupt the auto business.
Mr. Farley's elevation to operations chief positions him as a potential successor to Mr. Hackett, 64, who has led Ford for nearly three years.
Mr. Farley has been overseeing Ford's electric- and autonomous-car efforts, connected-car strategy and other long-term bets. In his new role, he will take over much of Mr. Hinrich's duties, including manufacturing and running Ford's vast product-development and purchasing arms.
Mr. Hinrichs's pending departure comes ahead of a critical vehicle-rollout year for Ford. The company is gearing up to introduce late this year a revamped F-150 pickup truck, the first redesign of its most-profitable model in about six years. The company also plans to roll out a return of its Bronco SUV.
Mr. Hinrichs joined Ford 20 years ago and ascended through various manufacturing jobs and ran the company's Asia region during a time of explosive growth in China's car market. He is widely admired inside the company, employees and colleagues have said.
In a statement, Mr. Hackett said Mr. Farley's appointment is aimed at a goal of achieving 8% operating margins globally, roughly double Ford's margin in recent quarters.
"Jim Farley is the right person to take on this important new role," Mr. Hackett said. "Jim's passion for great vehicles and his intense drive for results are well known. He also has developed into a transformational leader with the imagination and foresight to help lead Ford into the future."
Write to Mike Colias at Mike.Colias@wsj.com and Christina Rogers at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 07, 2020 10:29 ET (15:29 GMT)
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