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Ford Motor Company gets new CEO on October 1st

Ford Motor Company

After three years at the helm of Ford Motor Company, CEO Jim Hackett is retiring.

He will hand leadership of the 117-year-old car manufacturer to Jim Farley, Ford's current Chief Operating Officer, as of October 1st, 2020.

Farley assumes the top job at Ford in the middle of its effort to restructure its global operations and cut costs. 

He says the goal for Ford is a 10% operating margin - something, if achieved, that might also help the company's effort to boost its chronically depressed stock price.

Farley says Ford’s competitors are no longer just traditional peers like GM.  They’re often newcomers with expertise in IT, electrification, and artificial intelligence.  

“We know our competition today," Farley said on a press call Tuesday. "It’s Amazon….Baidu, Tesla, Apple, Toyota, and others. They’re well-financed and voracious companies.”

Farley will also have a challenge in reviving Ford’s slumping car sales in China, which is now the world’s largest car market.

Overall, car sales in China have fallen because of the coronavirus pandemic.

And the pandemic has affected Ford's ability to function normally, with most white collar employees still working from home, while the company works to keep plants operating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 infections among assembly line workers.

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Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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