The New Ford CEO, Jim Farley

Oct 07, 2020 - 3 minute read

a man in a suit and tie standing in front of a wall with a sign that says it's time to go

J.C. Lewis welcomes its old friend in the car business, Jim Farley, to his new role. We welcome Jim and his professionalism, passion for the business and commitment to growth. Jim has held town halls, announced constructive plans for our future and brought new roles and leadership team members with him to his position.

Born in 1962, Farley attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he completed his MBA with a focus in finance.

He and his wife, Lia, have three children. Farley began his automotive career at Toyota in 1990 in the strategic planning department and served in several product and marketing positions in the United States and Europe.

One of Farley’s most noted accomplishments is his responsibility for the successful launch and rollout of Toyota’s new Scion brand.

Jim has impacted this business in multiple roles and brand lineups. Most recently Jim was Chief Operating Officer. Farley worked to strengthen Ford’s automotive operations, overseeing all of Ford’s global markets and automotive operations including Product Development, Purchasing, Enterprise Product Line Management, Manufacturing & Labor Affairs, Marketing, Sales & Service, and Quality & New Model Launch.

He also oversaw Mobility Partnerships and Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC. Farley also represents Ford on the U.S. China Business Council Board of Directors.

Previously, Farley served as president of New Businesses, Technology and Strategy. In this role, he led Ford’s strategic transformation into a higher growth, higher margin business by leveraging smart, connected vehicles and breakthrough customer experiences. In this role, Farley oversaw Corporate Strategy, Global Data Insight and Analytics, Global Partnerships, Research & Advanced Engineering as well as Ford Smart Mobility and Ford Autonomous Vehicles.

Farley also served as Ford’s executive vice president and president of Global Markets. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing Ford’s business units: The Americas, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific. In addition, Farley oversaw The Lincoln Motor Company, global Marketing & Sales, and the strategy and business model development for electrified vehicles.

Ford is continuing to streamline and transform its global business, making changes in how the company is organized and operates to deliver executional excellence that benefits customers and delivers sustained profitable growth. Jim Farley, who today succeeds Jim Hackett as Ford’s president and CEO, outlined key goals and organizational changes during a virtual town hall meeting with the company’s global team.

Farley said Ford plans to move with urgency to turn around its automotive operations – improving quality, reducing costs and accelerating the restructuring of underperforming businesses.

At the same time, Ford will grow by:

  • Allocating more capital, resources and talent to its strongest businesses and vehicle franchises

  • Expanding its leading commercial vehicle business with a suite of software services that drive loyalty and recurring revenue streams

  • Offering compelling, uniquely Ford fully electric vehicles at scale around the world, including Transit, F-Series, Mustang, SUVs and Lincoln

  • Adding more affordable vehicles to its global lineup, including in North America

  • Standing up new customer-facing businesses enabled by Argo AI’s world-class self-driving system

“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.” “We are going to compete like a challenger – allocate capital to higher growth and return opportunities to create value – and earn customers for life through great products and a rewarding ownership experience.”

Ford is making changes to its operating model to help deliver on these priorities, including:

  • Concentrating decision-making and accountability around product and customer groups in three regional business units – The Americas and International Markets; Europe; and China

  • Accelerating innovation to be a leader in new businesses such as autonomous vehicles and mobility

  • Harnessing expertise in industrial platforms to develop world-class connected vehicles

  • Unleashing technology and software in ways that set Ford apart from competitors

  • Embracing and increasing the diversity of backgrounds, experiences and talent across the company

Farley said the company is targeting consistent operating performance that includes adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of 8% of revenue with strong automotive adjusted free cash flow, so the company can fully invest in customers and growth.

More from J.C. Lewis Ford Savannah