automotive news

Ford’s Farley shuffles executives on first day as CEO

DETROIT — Tim Stone, Ford Motor Co.’s CFO, is stepping down after only a year and a half in the position to take a new role at an artificial intelligence company, one of a handful of executive changes announced Thursday as Jim Farley takes over as CEO.

John Lawler, head of Ford’s autonomous vehicle company, will become Ford’s CFO effective immediately. Lawler, 54, has held a number of roles during his 30-year career, including president of Ford China and CFO of Global Markets.

Stone, 53, is leaving to become COO and CFO of ASAPP Inc. and will be the second Detroit 3 CFO to leave this year for a technology company. He will remain with Ford through Oct. 15.

“John knows our company inside-out, has a clear view and great ambition for what Ford can be, and articulates what’s needed to get there,” Farley said in a statement. “As CFO, he will help assure we have the means to fund those ambitions.”

Farley worked closely with Lawler in recent years when Farley was head of new businesses, technology and strategy. Both men spent considerable time in Silicon Valley picking the brains of tech leaders to help shape Ford’s future.

Other moves

In addition, Ford said that Joy Falotico, its chief marketing officer and president of Lincoln, will step down as marketing chief to focus on her role leading Ford’s luxury brand. Falotico, 53, has held the dual role since 2018.

“This change will allow Joy to focus on accelerating Lincoln’s global growth through great vehicles and services and a truly differentiated customer experience,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of the Americas and international markets. “Lincoln’s completely refreshed lineup is resonating with customers in the U.S. as well as in China, where we are now producing the Lincoln Aviator and Corsair locally, for Chinese customers – and that’s just the beginning.”

Ford said it would name a new chief marketing officer “shortly.”

Ford also announced a pair of retirements: Jeff Lemmer, its chief information officer, will retire Jan. 1. Dale Wishnousky, its vice president of manufacturing for Ford Europe, will retire at the end of the year.

Kieran Cahill, 53, previously Ford of Europe’s director, manufacturing and strategic projects, will succeed Wishnousky, effective immediately. Ford said it would name a new CIO soon.

Setting goals

Farley on Thursday also reaffirmed a number of Ford’s goals for the future, including hitting 8 percent adjusted EBIT margins globally. Ford is also working to hit 10 percent margins in North America.

Farley, as he has said in the past, noted Ford will focus on commercial vehicles, add more affordable nameplates and electrify both Ford and Lincoln models including the F-Series, Transit and Mustang. He promised to “allocate more capital, resources and talent” to the company’s strongest businesses and vehicle franchises, continuing a trend following former CEO Jim Hackett’s 2018 decision to cut sedans.

“During the past three years, under Jim Hackett’s leadership, we have made meaningful progress and opened the door to becoming a vibrant, profitably growing company,” Farley said. “Now it’s time to charge through that door.”

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