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Ford names Jim Farley new COO as Joe Hinrichs retires

Ford Motor Company issued a surprise executive shakeup announcement Friday that Joe Hinrichs is retiring and Jim Farley is moving into the chief operating officer role, a significant development as the two have both viewed as potential successors to CEO Jim Hackett.

“Jim Farley is exactly what Ford needs in these challenging times,” said Jon Gabrielsen, a market economist who advises automakers and auto suppliers. “He is very strategically minded and not afraid to take bold actions quickly when the situation requires it.”

Farley will report directly to Jim Hackett, who took the helm at Ford in May 2017 and has said repeatedly in public that he came out of retirement to take the role at the request of executive chairman Bill Ford, and he doesn’t plan a long stay at the Dearborn automaker. 

Hinrichs, 53, a well-respected industry veteran, retires after 19 years at Ford. He oversaw manufacturing and played a key role in building strong United Auto Workers relationships that contributed to smooth contract negotiations.

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