The automaker said Tuesday morning that CEO Jim Hackett will be stepping down on Oct. 1, handing the reins to COO Jim Farley. The news has been highly telegraphed by Ford, with Farley assuming his latest role as chief operating officer earlier this year after numerous successful stints running various businesses at the company.
Shares of Ford rose nearly 2% in afternoon trading.
Farley is seen in the industry as a true auto executive. After having led the launch of Toyota’s Scion brand, Farley joined Ford in 2007. He has touched all of Ford’s main businesses as a leader, including technology and international.
Now Farley’s extensive resumé will be put to the test. Within the next 12 months, Ford will launch the Mustang Mach-E, Bronco and redesigned F-150. These are some of the most high-profile launches for Ford arguably in a decade. Nailing the production and presentation to consumers will be critical in driving improved profits and cash flow that could help pay down a large sum of debt.
The importance of the F-150 (long Ford’s cash cow) to Ford’s financials in particular isn’t lost on Farley.
“It’s fundamental,” Farley told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade on June 26 about the upcoming F-150.