Summary List PlacementSome 117 years into its storied life, the Ford Motor Company is facing perhaps the toughest challenge in its history — and its newly installed chief executive, Jim Farley, has assembled what he hopes is an all-star team capable of meeting it head on. The global auto industry is on the verge of a massive shift away from the defining technology of the 20th century — the fossil fuel-powered internal-combustion engine — and toward the potentially defining technology of the 21st, the electric drivetrain. The race is on to develop fully driverless vehicles, with multi-trillion-dollar opportunities popping up for ride-hailing, trucking, and delivery. Ford and other legacy automakers are masters at designing, engineering, mass-producing, and selling millions of cars and trucks every year. But they face challenges from nimble startups and risk-craving new players. Elon Musk's Tesla, for example, has surged to a $500 billion market valuation, even though it will probably sell just 500,000 vehicles this year. Ford could sell five million, but its market cap now sits at just over $36 billion, while its stock price has languished for years. The coronavirus pandemic revealed another vulnerability: For over a month in early 2020, Ford had to shut down production at all of its US and European factories, costing it billions. The company leaned on its borrowing capacity to muddle through, but its credit rating was cut below investment grade. To preserve cash, Ford had to suspend its generous divided. Tough times call for tough leaders, and Farley — Ford's third CEO since 2014 — has a deeply experienced team running the show. These are the 15 power players leading the iconic automaker into an uncertain future.FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content! Moray Callum, vice president, Design
Callum has been at Ford since 1995, and has been the head of design since 2014. He's responsible for overseeing the form and function of literally every vehicle the company makes or wants to make, from SUVs to sports cars to exotic concepts. He's also the brother of Ian Callum, who recently retired as design chief at Jaguar. So he hails from a family that has beautiful cars in its blood. But he doesn't exactly look, or act, the part of a car designer. Callum's nature is cheerful, not intense or austere. He dresses unpretentiously, forgoing the sleek black suits, gigantic costly wristwatches, and severe eyeglasses that most auto-industry observers associate with the more artsy denizens of the business. Callum now manages Ford's commitment to the design values embodied by its traditional cars and trucks, while embracing the new aesthetics that autonomous and electric vehicles embody. Suzy Deering, global chief marketing officer
Ford named Deering, a veteran of eBay and Verizon, as its new top marketer in November 2020. She will be on the job in January of next year. Automakers spend billions on marketing their vehicles and services, so Deering's role is critical. But Ford is also rebranding itself as a technology and mobility provider, and the 117-year-old company looked to the new economy when it chose Deering as CMO. "Technology will be a powerful part of Ford's transformation and how we enhance and release the huge value of our iconic brands," she said in a statement when her hire was announced. "My team will be involved from end-to-end on behalf of customers — better connecting with them, using data to foresee and deliver what they need, and earning and keeping their trust." Jim Farley, CEO
Farley took over as CEO in October 2020 — making him the automaker's third chief executive since Alan Mulally retired in 2014. Mulally got Ford through the financial crisis without suffering the bailout-and-bankruptcy fates of both General Motors and Chrysler. But the Blue Oval has consistently struggled to post a 10% annual profit margin, and the carmaker's stock has underperformed the broader markets at a time when new-vehicle sales have been on a record tear and Tesla has become one of the world's most valuable companies. Farley takes over at a time when Ford has important new vehicles hitting the market. The carmaker rolled out a redesigned F-150 pickup right after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to idle all its US and European production for more than a month. A rebooted Bronco SUV has raked in close to 200,000 reservations, and the Mustang Mach-E, Ford's play at taking on Tesla head-to-head, goes on sale this fall. A new E-Transit all-electric commercial van is also on the way, and the platform is the basis for Farley's ambitious strategy to go after the big money in big data. Known as a hard-charging leader, Farley made his bones at Toyota, at one point running the Lexus luxury brand. He came to Ford in 2007 and rose to become its chief operating officer, functioning as a sort of shadow CEO for Hackett. Farley has ascended to the top job in Dearborn at a moment when Ford is facing unprecedented challenges from upstarts such as Tesla on the electrification front, but also as the company works to validate its partnership with autonomous-mobility startup Argo AI and keep it competitive with GM-affiliated Cruise and Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving company. Joy Falotico, president, Lincoln
Until November 2020, Falotico was heading up Lincoln and serving as Ford's Chief Marketing Officer — following in the footsteps of Kumar Galhotra, who had also run the luxury brand while filling the CMO's role. Falotico worked at Ford's credit arm from 1989 until she became a group vice-president in 2016 and took over Lincoln while the brand was in the process of a reinvention. With Ford hiring Suzy Deering as its new CMO, Falotico is free to take Lincoln to the next level, expanding its manufacturing and sales operations in China while launching new SUVs in the US. She has to take on crosstown rival Cadillac, as well as worry about Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, and Jaguar Land Rover. China, in particular, has been on her mind for a while. "China is going to be the largest market, for certain," she told Business Insider in 2018. William Clay Ford, chairman of the board of directors
Bill Ford, great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, was once CEO of his family's company. And although he stepped aside — wisely, as it turned out — to bring former Boeing executive Alan Mulally onboard before the financial crisis, he's always stayed in the picture. As chairman, he's been steering Ford toward something of a post-car future for over a decade, stressing sustainability, innovation, and advanced mobility but not sacrificing the carmaker's big earners, such as the F-Series pickup-truck franchise — American's bestselling vehicles every year since 1982 — and large, highly profitable SUVs, like the Explorer. In 2018, he told Business Insider, on the occasion of reviving a neglected train station in downtown Detroit, that Ford isn't "just making a bet on Detroit" but "making a big bet on the future for Ford and the future of transportation." Kumar Galhotra, president, Americas & International Markets Group
Galhotra has been a rising star at Ford since he took over Lincoln after the financial crisis and put it on the road to reinvention. At one time a low-key engineer, Galhotra is now known for his elegantly tailored suits and his calm manner, combined with a relentless focus on improving Ford and making sure the company remains competitive. Galhotra has moved from major role to major role at Ford. In his current job, he oversees the ups and downs of everything Ford does, from passenger cars and trucks to commercial vehicles. He's on the front lines of where Ford is making and losing money. He's also considered a future CEO candidate and, for the past 10 years, has been an executive to keep a close eye on. "Kumar is an incredibly talented executive with a special feel for product and brand," Farley — then executive vice president and president of global markets — said when Galhotra was put in charge of Ford's all-important North American business in 2018. "He is a seasoned leader who knows how to drive a business transformation." Jim Hackett, special advisor
Hackett was Ford's CEO from 2017 until 2020, and his tenure was rocky. Unlike the tough-minded car execs who have defined the business for decades, Hackett was a thoughtful leader who, in a previous career, made furniture maker Steelcase into a company that redefined workplaces. Hackett's focus on what he called "design thinking" was appreciated by Silicon Valley, but it took awhile for it to catch on in the car business. Bill Ford always got it and felt strongly that Hackett had put the company on the right track. Wall Street was less patient, but Farley developed a great respect for Hackett's approach. "After being in the industry for decades as a product planner, I thought I knew a thing or two," Farley told Business Insider. But Hackett's guidance "forever changed us as leaders at the company," he added. "We're all in. In what you'll see in the next generation of vehicles. That was all informed by what Jim gifted us with. I can't imagine Ford without it." As a Special Advisor, Hackett will continue to offer insight to both Farley and Bill Ford. Marion Harris, CEO, Ford Motor Credit Company
Harris has been at Ford since 1999, and he became CEO of Ford Motor Credit in 2019. FMC has been a quietly powerful force in helping Ford to maintain a solid level of financial execution since the Great Recession. As the automaker's captive lender, it provides the credit that customers and dealers need to buy and lease Ford vehicles. Harris hasn't always been Ford's in-house banker. He also served as vice president of the company's Mobility Business Group. There, he "was responsible for the connected services businesses of Ford Commercial Solutions," among other responsibilities. That experience is liable to make him a key player for Farley, who has made Ford Commercial Solution an integral part of his plan to turn Ford's data-gathering into a profit driver. "Commercial is what Ford does naturally," Farley recently told Business Insider. "We've very good at it. The new frontier for us is to go digital and electric with services." Mark LeNeve, vice president, US Marketing and Sales
Compared to others on this list, LaNeve is a newcomer to Ford, having joined the Blue Oval only in 2015. (He did get a bit of a preview, starting in 2012, when he was COO of Global Team Blue, the carmaker's advertising arm.) Prior to that, he'd been at Allstate. But he learned his trade during lengthy stints at General Motors, where he ran both the Cadillac and Pontiac divisions, and then at Volvo North America as CEO, at a time when the company was being acquired by Ford (the company later sold Volvo to China's Geely). At Ford, LaNeve has often been in the trenches with the carmaker's dealer network. He provided Business Insider with some key insights regarding the company's decision several years ago to abandon low-profit sedans in the US market. In an interview with Business Insider in 2018, LaNeve said, "We've been seeing the trends coming on for a while, but it's been accelerating." That move has now paid off handsomely, as Ford has been able to zero in on highly profitable pickups and SUVs, funding its transformation. And LaNeve can take credit for that success. John Lawler, CFO
Lawler is a Ford lifer who knows the company inside and out. He joined in 1990 and has served in a wide range of roles around the globe, culminating as CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, the carmaker's self-driving arm, and vice president of its Mobility Partnerships group. He took over as CFO in 2020 when Tim Stone left to run a Montana based artificial-intelligence startup. Ford's CFO's tend to know the business as well (or better) than the CEOs they serve, and Lawler is no exception, having worked at Ford for 17 years longer than Farley. From 2012 to 2016, he ran Ford's China operations, as the automaker tried to catch up with more established players in the region — GM and the VW Group, mainly — and set itself up to capture its share of growth in what experts think could be the largest auto market on the planet, more than double the size of the US. Now he has to guide Ford through some financially treacherous waters. Although the company has plenty of cash on its balance sheet (the result of a sales boom in the US that's favored big-ticket pickups and SUVs), a weak stock price, more debt than some of its peers, and a higher cost of borrowing could cause the company some pain when the next downturn in the industry arrives. Jeff Lemmer, chief information officer
This 33-year Ford veteran is the IT guy to end all IT guys. Not only does Lemmer manage the information-technology needs of Ford's nearly 200,000 worldwide employees, but he also leads Ford's efforts to ensure that its workforce and customers have state-of-the-art privacy and technological security. Lemmer has paved the way for his successor, who should be announced before the end of 2020, as Lemmer intends to step down in January. Ford's next CIO should end up working closely with Jim Farley to execute on the CEO's ambitious strategy to turn Ford's data business into a profit-driver. Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe
Rowley, born and educated in the UK, has been with Ford since 1990, including a few years at Volvo when the Swedish carmaker was under the Ford corporate umbrella. As the carmaker's European chief, he has one of the hardest jobs in the business. Ford has been in Europe for decades, but the market there has long been flat, with most of Ford's profits coming from the US and lucrative pickup and SUV sales. Unlike rival GM, however, Ford has decided to stay the course in Europe (GM pulled out several years ago when it sold its Opel division to Peugeot). Rowley took charge in 2019 and needs to show results in a hurry, to ease pressure on Farley and lessen Ford's reliance on North America. Hau Thai-Tang, chief product platform and operations officer
Hau Thai-Tang, like several members of top-ranking Ford leadership, has spent his entire career with the company. He joined in 1988, fresh out of Carnegie Mellon's mechanical-engineering program. One of his biggest achievements at Ford was creating a new Mustang. He took charge of the 2005 iteration of the iconic "pony car" and later appeared in the 2015 documentary "A Faster Horse" to discuss the undertaking. He hasn't allowed his decades at Ford to lock him into a cloistered view of the company. "For the past century, the ability to master the internal-combustion engine has been a huge barrier to entry for the automotive business," he told McKinsey Quarterly in 2019. "Now, anybody can buy a motor, match it with a battery, and become an automotive manufacturer." When Farley officially became CEO in October, he elevated Thai-Tang to a new level of responsibility. The engineer became chief product platform and operations officer, and has served as chief product development and purchasing officer. Lynn Antipas Tyson, executive director, investor relations
Tyson's 25-year career has showcased her ability to represent large companies to the investment community and other critical constituencies. Before Ford, she worked for Dell and PepsiCo. The City College of New York grad also holds an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. Her challenge at Ford is significant, as the carmaker's stock has failed to impress Wall Street, lagging the broader markets since the financial crisis and underperforming its peers in the auto industry. Ford has also seen its investment-grade credit rating cut, raising its borrowing costs. "Lynn brings a wealth of investor relations and communications experience at companies that were facing profound change," Bob Shanks, then Ford's CFO, said in 2017 when Tyson joined Ford. Ken Washington, chief technology officer
If you're looking for the leading edge at Ford, Ken Washington is probably leaning off of it. With a doctorate in nuclear engineering, he's is the scientist on Ford's leadership term, responsible for the company's far-flung research efforts. He came to the Blue Oval from the Advanced Technology Center at Lockheed Martin Space Systems. Now, he supervises the development of Ford's "next-generation vehicle electrical architectures; sensing and computing stacks; energy, propulsion, and sustainability; advanced materials and manufacturing; and controls and automated systems," according to the automaker.
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