Former furniture industry exec takes helm at Ford Motor Co. – Furniture Today

Jim HackettJim Hackett

DEARBORN, Mich. — Jim Hackett, who has a track record of innovation and business success at office furniture producer Steelcase, has been named as Ford Motor Co. president and CEO, effective May 22.

Hackett succeeds Mark Fields, who is retiring, and he will report to Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

“He’s a true visionary who brings a unique, human-centered leadership approach to our culture, products and services that will unlock the potential of our people and our business,” Ford said.

Hackett, acknowledged by Ford Motor Co. as a “transformational business leader,” is credited with leading Steelcase’s turnaround to become the world’s leading office furniture maker.

According to Hackett’s bio, during his 30 years there, he helped transform the office furniture company from traditional manufacturer to industry innovator. He is credited with predicting that the office landscape would shift away from cubicles to an open space environment, giving employees the flexibility to work where they want.

Hackett is known for his creative management approach to business. Through an equity investment by Steelcase in IDEO, an international consulting firm, Hackett forged a unique business relationship with its CEO David Kelley to foster design innovation at the office furniture company.

“The biggest challenge I had (at Steelcase), and I will have here, is to have everybody see the future. … And secondly, that it’s our right to win,” Hackett said Monday during a news conference at Ford’s world headquarters. “I love that challenge because I know how to do that.”

Hackett served on Ford’s board from 2013 to 2016. In his new post, he will focus on “sharpening operational execution, modernizing Ford’s present business and transforming the company to meet tomorrow’s challenges.”

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