Jim Hackett, Driving Ford to its Success
Purnima Narang || The CEO Magazine
With an estimated Net Worth of $19.9 million as of September 2019, Jim Hackett is directing the growth of the American multinational automaker headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan. The company was incorporated on June 16, 1903, selling automobiles and commercial vehicles under its brand. Besides automobiles, Ford also deals in luxury vehicles, commercial vehicles, automotive parts, pickup trucks and SUVs.
Originally from Central Ohio, Ireland, Jim Hackett is the visionary who has been guiding the company Ford together with the Bill Ford towards becoming world’s most trusted company, designing increasingly intelligent vehicles that are connected to the progressive intelligent world. Before accepting this role, in 2016, the leader has been chairman of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, a subsidiary of Ford which was initiated to accelerate the company’s plan to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services.
Being a graduate of the University of Michigan, Hackett has been always fond of football. Later in his career, he became the interim director of athletics at the University of Michigan from October 31, 2014, to march 11, 2016. He has led the hiring of San Fransisco 49ers’ coach and fellow UM alumnus Jim Harbaugh as the university’s football coach. He donated half of his $600,000 salary as an interim athletic director “Athletics Connected” a program, that’s designed to support the mental health of student-athletes.
Creative Approach towards Business
Well known for his creative management approach to business, Hackett forged a unique business relationship with its CEO David Kelley through an equity investment in Steelcase in IDEO, an international consulting firm to foster design innovation at the office furniture company. Hackett spent thirty years with Steelcase, the Grand Rapids-based office furniture company.
Hackett oversaw the formation of Ford Smart Mobility, a unit responsible for experimenting with car-sharing programs at Ford Motor Company, self-driving ventures and other programs aimed at helping Ford better compete with Uber, Alphabet Inc. and other tech giants looking to edge in on the auto industry.
Ford’s Subsidiaries and Motorsport
Ford’s former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and land Rover were acquired in 1989 and 2000 respectively which were later sold the Indian company Tata Motors in March 2008. Ford also owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand which it has marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Ford is one of the only three American constructors to win titles in the international FIA World Championship. They have designed engines for open-wheel car racing, stock car racing, rally cross, sports cars, touring cars, drag racing and drifting.
Better and Sustainable Future
In 2013, before joining Ford Smart Mobility, Hackett was a member of the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors. As a member of the Sustainability and Innovation committee, he was actively involved with the Ford senior leadership team in launching the company’s Ford Smart Mobility plan. He served on the Audit and the Nominating and Governance committees.
Under his guidance, the company has taken initiatives to provide sustainable living through its using various environment-friendly gases powered products as well as electric and hybrid products in the market. CNG or Compressed Natural Gas is one of the major components of some versions of Crown Victoria, especially in fleet and taxi service. The Flexible fuel vehicles based Ford E100 Flex is currently being sold in the Brazilian market are the Courier, Ford EcoSport, Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, and Ford Ka. Hybrid drive vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles, increased fuel efficiency and PC power management are some of the other initiatives taken by the company for “Sustainable development”.
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