- Ford is making the moves ahead of third-quarter earnings.
- Former CEO Mark Fields main advisor for new acquisitions is leaving.
- The head of Lincoln will take over global marketing.
Ford will report third-quarter earnings on Thursday, but new CEO Jim Hackett isn’t waiting to make news.
On Wednesday, the carmaker announced sweeping changes to its management team (the Detroit Free Press has the full breakdown, and Ford’s announcement is available here).
Notable was the departure of John Casesa, a behind-the-scenes figure, former investment banker, and a hire of ousted CEO Mark Fields. Casesa was a guiding hand in Ford’s recent investments and acqusitions in Silicon Valley and futuristic mobility — areas that are now Hackett’s focus.
Longtime global marketing head Stephen Odell will also leave, replaced by Kumar Galhotra, who has spent the past few years spearheading a turnaround at Ford’s luxury brand, Lincoln.
The automaker announced numerous other moves in the executive ranks, but Casesa’s and Odell’s exits were the headline-grabbers, as was Galhotra’s elevation.
Ford is in a strange period of flux at the moment: sales have been strong and the profits have rolled it, but the company’s stock has been a market laggard. That cost Fields his job and compelled the Ford board, led by scion Bill Ford, to replace Fields with Hackett.
Crosstown rival GM has seen its shares surge to new highs this year as it pressed forward with self-driving cars and shared-mobility services. Ford has its own Smart Mobility initiative — led by Hackett before he became CEO — but the stock is down 3% year-to-date, while GM is up 30%.
Shares were flat in pre-market trading on Wednesday, at $12.