Officially Official: Ford Confirms Jim Hackett's Appointment As CEO

He served on Ford's board from 2013-16, and past year joined Ford's Smart Mobility division, which is working to develop Ford's driverless vehicle strategy and ride-sharing vision for the fast-changing world of tomorrow.

Fields retired after 28 years at the company, replaced by former Steelcase CEO Hackett, who has nearly zero experience in automobiles until he joined the company last year to head its "smart mobility" transportation initiative.

According to a report from Forbes, the change is because Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Jr. and the rest of the board have lost confidence in Fields' leadership capabilities.

Fields will retire at age 56 after 28 years at the company, it was reported in the New York Times.

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While Ford has been making investments in mobility services, autonomous technology, and the electrification of its vehicles, the board ultimately didn't think the company was moving fast enough under Fields.

Citi research analyst Itay Michaeli, in a Monday note to investors, said appointing Hackett as CEO likely suggests "a greater emphasis to accelerate Ford's mobility services development and strategy".

Hackett, in a statement, said his goal is "to create an even more dynamic and vibrant Ford that improves people's lives around the world, and creates value for all of our stakeholders". Hackett was interim director of athletics at the University of MI from October 31, 2014, to March 11, 2016, where he led the search for a permanent athletic director appointed in January 2016.

Jim Hackett, 62, will take the helm of Ford as president and CEO beginning this week.

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Hackett will report directly to Bill Ford.

First-quarter profits dropped and last week, Fields announced Ford was cutting 1,400 jobs in North America and Asia. The 114-year-old auto giant seeks to become a transformative company capable of taking on Silicon Valley darling Tesla and the coming revolution in smart driving.

A Ford spokesman had this to say, "We are staying focused on our plan for creating value and profitable growth".

Ford also appointed Jim Farley to the post of executive vice president and president, Global Markets.

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The appointment is effective immediately and comes amid concerns about the company's trajectory after a bout of weak sales. He was president of Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa. Ford has also elected Paul Ballew to the position of Global Chief Data and Analytics Officer.

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