Ford CEO Mark Fields leaves abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After almost three years on the job
  • Laud, praise and thanks for Fields
  • Jim Hackett taking over

(exechange) — Dearborn, Michigan, May 22, 2017 — Mark Fields, chief executive of Ford, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Ford Motor Company in a news release on Monday, May 22, 2017, Mark Fields leaves the post as Chief Executive Officer at the automaker in a surprising move after almost three years on the job, effective immediately.

No company wants a CEO to flame out in the first years.

Fields’ duties are taken over by Jim Hackett, a former Chief Executive Officer at Steelcase Inc.

The fact that Fields’ successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider doesn’t have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

Fields’ move is part of a management shake-up also involving the positions of president, Global Markets; president, Global Operations and president, Mobility.

“Accelerate a strategic shift to capitalize on emerging opportunities”

The sudden management change is explained as follows. Ford said in a fairly blunt statement: “Ford Motor Company today named Jim Hackett as its new president and CEO and announced key global leadership changes designed to further strengthen its core automotive business and accelerate a strategic shift to capitalize on emerging opportunities.”

Precise information about the future plans of Fields was not immediately available.


Ford said: Mark Fields “has elected to retire from Ford after a successful 28-year career with the company”.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Ford Motor Company since July 2014.

Chaired by William Clay Ford Jr.

Ford Motor Company is chaired by William Clay Ford Jr.

He joined the Board of Directors in 1988 and has been its chairman since January 1999.

On the job as CEO since 2014

Mark Fields has been the Chief Executive Officer and President at Ford Motor Company since July 01, 2014.

Mark Fields served as president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company and was a member of the company’s board of directors.

Fields’ strong leadership was critical to the company’s North American restructuring, turnaround at the end of the last decade, and record profits in both 2015 and 2016.

Fields joined Ford in 1989 and progressed through a number of leadership positions in the United States, South America, Asia and Europe.

Throughout his career, he has managed a series of turnarounds in many of Ford’s businesses around the world, most notably as president of The Americas, where he led a transformation of the company’s North America operations.

Fields formerly served as chief operating officer, Ford Motor Company, a position to which he was named in December 2012. In this role, and as CEO, he was responsible for overseeing Ford’s fastest global manufacturing expansion in 50 years, and managing the most aggressive global product introduction schedule in the company’s history.

Prior to this, Fields served as executive vice president, Ford Motor Company.

He was named president, The Americas, in October 2005.

Fields also formerly served as executive vice president, Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group, where he led all activities for Ford’s premium vehicle business group, and for Ford brand vehicles manufactured and sold in Europe.

Prior to this, Fields was chairman and chief executive officer, Premier Automotive Group.

From 2000 to 2002, he was president and chief executive officer, Mazda Motor Corporation, leading the company through a significant transformation.

Fields was named a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 2000 and CNBC Asia Business Leader – Innovator of the Year in 2001.

Earlier in his career, he held a number of positions in both North America and South America, including managing director, Ford Argentina.

Fields was elected to the IBM board of directors in January 2016.

He also currently serves as chair of the US-China Business Council.

He was named to Fast Company’s 2016 Most Creative People in Business list for steering Ford in a more adventurous direction.

In May 2016, Fields and his wife Jane served as co-chairs for the annual benefit for Robin Hood Foundation – New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization.

Fields served as chair for United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s 2013-14 campaign.

Born in January 1961, Fields holds an economics degree from Rutgers University and an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Mark Fields’ sudden move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 22.2017 ($).