Ford sacks CEO Mark Fields, appoints Jim Hackett as successor

Ford Motor firing CEO Mark Fields after less than three years at the helm of the second-largest United States automaker, multiple news outlets reported Sunday night.

The change in leadership appears to have renewed hope for investors in Ford, as the company's shares have risen by more than 2 percent since Friday.

Fields also had the tough job of following CEO Alan Mulally, another auto industry outsider who was hired away from Boeing to lead Ford. -- Henry Ford, 1906-1918, 1943-1945 Industrialist Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor company in 1903. Hackett has led Ford's mobility unit since past year.

Hackett was appointed in March 2016 to head Ford Smart Mobility, a unit formed to accelerate the company's foray into emerging mobility services, according to his profile on the company's website.

"He's a true visionary who brings a unique, human-centered leadership approach to our culture, products and services that will unlock the potential of our people and our business", he continued.

Hackett, an OH native who played football at U-M under legendary coach Bo Schembechler, has run Ford Smart Mobility, a new unit established to oversee and coordinate the company's forays in autonomous driving, ridesharing and other ventures, since March 2016.

All three appointments are effective June 1.

Ford shares are down nearly 40 percent since Mark Fields took over as chief executive officer in July 2014. But as executive chairman he was on hand for everything that led to Mark Fields' ouster. That coach turned out to be Jim Harbaugh, a former Wolverines quarterback who has led the program to two 10-win seasons.

Hackett said he wants Ford to make decisions faster, and will put a smaller group of top executives at the table to make sure that can happen.

In case you were, you know, sleeping overnight, reports of a huge management shakeup at Ford came out.

Jim Farley, 54, head of Ford Europe, Middle East and Africa since January 2015, will become executive vice president and president of global markets for Ford Motor Co. In the previous year, Ford has experimented with pilot programs for predictive parking, ridesharing, and a predictive shuttle service. Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford's Americas division, will oversee global product development, manufacturing and quality.

Ford employed more than 200,000 people globally at the end of 2016, including about 101,000 in North America and 23,000 in Asia. And Marcy Klevorn is promoted executive vice president and president, mobility.

The 62-year-old (below) used to be the CEO of office furniture company Steelcase, where he worked for 25 years.

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