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Hackett Ascends from Smart Mobility Unit to Now Lead Ford

Posted on May 24th, 2017 by in New Materials & Applications

2018 Ford GT Competition Series

2018 Ford GT Competition Series by Ford [cropped from original] via Ford Media Center

Whether an attempt to end the recent share price erosion or a bid to capitalize on emerging market opportunities, Ford Motor Company now has a new CEO with a background in business transformation. Besides the Company’s new appointments, will their three newly minted strategies pave the way to more innovative products?

Ford Motor Company recently announced the appointment of Jim Hackett as CEO succeeding Mark Fields, who is retiring. Ford cites among the reasons strengthening operations as well as transforming for the future noting Hackett’s background as a successful transformation business leader at Steelcase Inc. Other reports have noted Ford’s lackluster performance under Fields’ leadership demonstrated by the stock price dropping 40% under his 3 year tenure.

Owning several Ford products over the years – including a much-beloved 1967 Mustang convertible – I must admit that I’m more curious about what this shakeup means for Ford’s new product strategy and any innovations they will use to realize the future. Hackett’s focus will be on three priorities:

  1. Sharpening operational execution
  2. Modernizing Ford’s business
  3. Transforming the company to meet future challenges

Both 2 and 3 provide interesting opportunities in cloud computing, big data, and advanced manufacturing which we frequently discuss in this blog along with Ford’s previous innovations in additive manufacturing. As chairman of Ford’s Smart Mobility LLC, Hackett’s recent experience is certainly applicable in emerging markets.

Taking it a level down, what can we expect from Ford when it comes to areas of product focus? According to the company’s latest “Go Further” campaign video above, Ford sees innovations in ride sharing, electric vehicles, bike sharing, and self driving cars as the topical challenges facing consumers of the automotive industry. Will solving these help Ford achieve a leadership spot in the industry? With the top spot from a market cap perspective currently being held by Tesla, it seems investors are certainly taking notice of electric vehicles at any rate.

What do you think of the changes at Ford? Tell us about your quest for unconventional knowledge and what it could mean for the future of your products or companies. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and don’t forget to follow us on your favorite social media channel.

All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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