Can the Guy Who Fixed University of Michigan Athletics Rev Up Ford?

By Motley Fool Staff Markets Fool.com

In this segment from Market Foolery, host Chris Hill and Bill Barker from Motley Fool Funds talk some more about the week's big news: Jim Hackett's replacing Mark Fields at the helm of Ford(NYSE: F). And they share some interesting insights about him from a Market Foolery listener who has been watching Hackett's career from the sidelines.

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A full transcript follows the video.

Bill Barkeris an employee of Motley Fool Asset Management, a separate, sister company of The Motley Fool, LLC. The views of Bill Barkerand Motley Fool Asset Management are not the views of The Motley Fool, LLC and should not be taken as such.

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This video was recorded on May 23, 2017.

Chris Hill: A week ago, you and I were in the studio talking about the reports of Ford Motor laying off 10% of its employees, and here we are a week later and they have a brand-new CEO. I should point out that John Rosevear, one of our writers who pops up on our Industry Focus podcast from time to time, has an article out today on the main page Fool.com. It's an interview with Jim Hackett, the new CEO at Ford Motor, so you can check that out.

We got a couple of emails from listeners, Ben C. Abraham, Chris Jenkins. I wanted to share a little bit of Chris' email, because frankly, going into the studio yesterday, there was very little I knew about Jim Hackett, and it seemed someone out of the blue, particularly in the wake of Mark Fields, who's been at Ford Motor for 28 years and was Alan Mulally's right-hand man and was universally praised when he got the CEO job. Chris Jenkins, talking about Hackett, saying, "Hackett was recently named the interim athletic director at the University of Michigan. Many eyebrows were raised at that time, as he had no athletic background other than graduating from and playing football for Michigan many years earlier. I can tell you the Michigan athletic department was a mess following the departure of former Domino'sCEO Dave Brandon. Fans and students were restless. Alumni had become fractured, and ticket sales were significantly down. Hackett came in to fix the mess, not wanting to be the permanent AD. He made the decision to fire football coach Brady Hoke and was instrumental in the recruitment and hiring of Jim Harbaugh, pulling him from the NFL. He also oversaw the school's record $174 million deal with Nike. When he left, he had brought the Michigan family together, righted the athletic program both in terms of organization and financially, and he was lauded as a consensus builder. I have no idea how he's going to do at Ford Motor, but my guess is he will adapt how he needs to, and will at least begin the implementation of a new vision. He won't be afraid to make changes, even if he doesn't plan to be there for the next 10 years. I am not a Ford guy, but I wouldn't bet against Hackett." Sounds good to me.

Bill Barker: Sounds good for Ford shareholders, who have not suffered deeply over the last three years, but they've watched the market go up and they've watched their shares go down by about 6% a year.

Hill: And one of the things I said yesterday was, I don't know anything about Jim Hackett, but if he has carte blanche to make the changes that he wants, and he's fearless, then I think it starts to become not only interesting for Ford Motor and their shareholders, but potentially lucrative. But, all of that remains to be seen. But I really appreciate the email.

Bill Barker has no position in any stocks mentioned. Chris Hill has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Ford and Nike. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.