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Ford rolls out leadership changes

Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. The automaker announced leadership changes.

Ford, one of the largest industrial employers in the bi-state Calumet Region, is making sweeping leadership changes as it seeks to revamp its global business in a time of innovation and upheaval in the auto industry.

“In the past two years, we have made tangible progress in improving the fitness of our business, overhauled our regional strategies, created a winning product portfolio, and are working to transform Ford to succeed in an era of profound change and disruption,” Ford President and CEO James Hackett said. “With this strong foundation in place for our auto and mobility businesses, we can now accelerate our transformation.”

Joe Hinrichs was named president of automotive as of May 1. He will lead Ford's automotive operations, overseeing both the Ford and Lincoln brands. He will be responsible for Ford's business units in North America, South America, Europe and China and the International Markets Group. He is tasked with delivering a global Earnings Before Interest and Taxes margin of at least 8%.

He will lead Product Development, Purchasing, Enterprise Product Line Management, Manufacturing & Labor Affairs, Marketing, Sales & Service, Quality & New Model Launch, Sustainability, Environmental & Safety Engineering, Information Technology, Customer Experience, and Government Affairs.

“Joe Hinrichs possesses the knowledge, experience and leadership to now take our Automotive business to world-class levels of product excellence, customer satisfaction, efficiency and financial performance,” Hackett said. “As we enter a busy period for new product launches and further restructuring in underperforming markets, Joe’s leadership in transforming businesses through focused execution will be key.”

Jim Farley will serve as president of New Businesses, Technology & Strategy. He will oversee corporate strategy, global data insights and analytics, global partnerships, research and advanced engineering, Ford Smart Mobility and Ford Autonomous Vehicles. He's charged with increasing growth and margins.

“Jim Farley’s job is to drive us into the future, both strategically and operationally, from AVs to mobility experiences to leveraging AI and big data," Hackett said. "Jim combines an innate feel for what customers want and need in vehicles and the ability to translate this into the vehicles and services of the future. I’m excited that Jim and Joe will be working together with the Ford team around the world to advance our vision to design increasingly intelligent vehicles and connect them to the world around us to make life better for our customers and communities.”

John Lawler will become vice president of strategy and lead corporate strategy, business development and global data insights and analytics.

Mobility President Marcy Klevorn will serve as chief transformation officer until she retires from the company in October, after serving for the Dearborn, Michigan-based company for 36 years.

Ford employs thousands of workers at the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch on the banks of the Calumet River and in the Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights. 

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.