Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) is planning to carry out significant management changes of its senior leadership, as part of a new restructuring push. The changes come at a time of increased tension between top executives and concerns about the stock price among investors. The Wall Street Journal reports that the changes will be used to clarify the company’s long-term strategy.
Ford Management Changes
The shakeup has already had its first casualty chief executive officer, Mark Fields, having been relieved his duties and consequently replaced by Steelcase CEO, James Jackett. Up until his appointment, Hackett oversaw Fords Smart Mobility business unit.
Field’s abrupt dismissal came as a surprise but was more than inevitable given the growing concerns over lack of direction on the company’s future. Media reports indicate that the automaker’s executive chairman Bill Ford Jr. was highly involved in the firing and hiring of the new CEO
“The clock speed at which our competitors are working …requires us to make decisions at a faster pace,” said Ford Jr., who plans to take a more active role at the company, according to a person briefed on the matter.
According to people familiar with the matter the ongoing shuffling will mostly involve executives who were hired during the reign of former CEO, Alan Mulally, who exited in 2014. The changes are believed to be part of a bigger plan that seeks to realign the company’s long-term strategy that involves focusing on new technologies such as autonomous cars and ride sharing services.
Cost Saving Push
Management changes come on the heels of the proposed reduction of the automaker’s salaried costs and personnel levels in North America. Ford has already outlined plans to reduce 10% of its salaried costs that will see up to 1,400 workers lose their jobs by the end of September. The company currently has about 30,000 employees in the U.S
The restructuring follows the announcement that the company’s net income fell by 35% in the First quarter to $1.6 billion. The company now hopes to use the cuts to trim costs by $3 billion. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) has already cut more than 4,000 jobs since November having also closed unprofitable operations in Asia.