Ford Announces More Management Changes--Update

By Christina Rogers Features Dow Jones Newswires

Ford Motor Co. continues to shake-up its top management team following the ouster earlier this week of former Chief Executive Mark Fields and the appointment of Jim Hackett as the No. 2 U.S. auto maker's new boss.

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As part of the shuffle, Ford announced Thursday morning that product chief Raj Nair will take over North American operations, a region responsible for nearly 90% of the company's profits, and Steven Armstrong, Europe's operating chief, will be elevated to run the region, replacing Jim Farley, who was named the new global markets president Monday.

Peter Fleet, a longtime marketing executive, will take over Asia-Pacific operations, a vital region including China, from Dave Schoch, who is retiring after 40 years. Purchasing chief Hau Thai-Tang will add global product development to his role, the company said.

The moves highlight how Mr. Hackett, less than a week in the new job, is restructuring the management team to be more agile with him having fewer direct reports than his predecessor. Many of these executives will now report to either Mr. Farley, or Joe Hinrichs, Ford's new global operations chief.

In naming Mr. Hackett to the top job, Ford Chairman Bill Ford has emphasized the need to move faster and make harder decisions if the 114-year-old auto makers is to compete in a quickly evolving business facing encroachment from new tech rivals in Silicon Valley.

"The clock speed at which the world is moving and our competitors are working really requires us to make decisions at a faster," Mr. Ford said, speaking to reporters earlier this week.

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Mr. Ford is counting on Mr. Hackett, a former office-furniture executive with a record for turning around ailing organizations, to sharpen the company's strategy and re-energize its workforce amid shrinking profits and plateauing U.S. sales volumes.

Among other changes announced Thursday is the return of Sherif Marakby to Ford as a vice president, running electric-car and autonomous-vehicle development. Mr. Marakby recently left Uber Technologies Inc., where he lead global-vehicle programs for the ride-hailing firm as it sought to develop its own robo-taxi fleet.

Write to Christina Rogers at christina.rogers@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 25, 2017 10:27 ET (14:27 GMT)