The automotive world recently had a very bizarre shake-up and it has our experts all scrambling for answers. Mark Fields has left the position as CEO of the Ford Motor Company, and there is a lot of speculation as to why. Ford states that they did not “fire” Mark, and that he chose to leave after a conversation with Bill Ford. What is it that is lurking behind the scenes of this major shift?
Mark Fields had a keen focus on the future of Ford mobility, investing big money in tech. So much so in fact, that he may have lost sight of improving current vehicles. Long-term vision is great – as long as it doesn’t hamper the progress of the present. Sluggish adaptation to market challenges (like an aging passenger fleet) and trends (midsized trucks anyone?) are attributed to Ford’s languishing stocks.
Software companies are beginning to take over the automotive space, and many car manufacturers are having a difficult time transitioning into this new era. While Mark did an amazing job increasing Ford’s profitability, he didn’t seem to be able to make quick decisions when necessary. Bill Ford has stated that it is pertinent to have a leader who is experienced with driving change. Bill believes that Jim Hackett is that guy, saying, “…he has a restlessness to get things done.”
While we have no steadfast answers as to why Mark had such a swift and unexpected departure, we do know that Ford has switched leadership with the hopes of gaining back the trust of investors and consumers alike. We’re hopeful that Ford can rise to the challenge of this brave new automotive world.
Want to hear more on this topic? Listen to episode #292 of The Drive with Alan Taylor now: CLICK HERE.