Ford Executive Retiring

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CBJ — It’s being called a retirement but some seem to believe Ford is pushing President Joe Hinrichs out the door following a poor fourth-quarter earnings report. The problems with launching the Explorer SUV also didn’t help matters.

Regardless, the 53-year-old Hinrichs will be gone as of March 1 with Jim Farley taking over as chief operating officer in charge of global markets. Farley is currently president of new business and strategy in Dearborn, Michigan.

Figures released by the automaker show the full-year profit was down more than $3.6 billion last year compared with 2018 and there was a massive loss of $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter alone.

CEO Jim Hackett said the company fell short of expectations for the year, and he blamed the performance largely on the botched launch of the new Ford Explorer SUV at its factory in Chicago. Immediately after coming off the assembly line they were found to have numerous problems and had to then be sent to Detroit for repairs, delaying deliveries to customers, some of whom had already paid in advance.

Meanwhile, Ford continues to stay out in front of an $11 billion restructuring effort under Hackett, who is under increasing pressure to show a turnaround after replacing ousted CEO Mark Fields in May of 2017.

Hinrichs had been in charge of automotive during the Explorer launch and was a key executive when the Focus transmission was rolled out.

In a statement released to the public, the company said that Farley will lead a drive to make automotive operations stronger and deliver a global pretax profit margin of at least 8%.

@CanBizJournal

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