back to article Ford to replace CEO with connected car division boss – reports

Ford has reportedly invited its CEO to leave following a slump in share prices which some media reports pin on the US auto maker’s shift from focusing on cars to tech. The US Associated Press reported this morning that 56-year-old Mark Fields is retiring “amid questions about its current performance and future strategy”. Under …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, Mark Fields was responsible for the direction that Ford has been taking for the past few years, with this "connected car" nonsense, and they are replacing him with Jim Hackett, the "Autonomous Car Division" manager? Great. Watching the Bill Ford News Conference on CNBC, right now. AI, Deep Learning, Robotics. Wonderful. Less people/more robots? Wonder who's Servers they'll be using in that new Data Center (First guess is NOT Lenovo)...

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Someone looked at Hackett CV?

      "Hackett served as CEO of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based furniture company Steelcase for nearly two decades before relinquishing the post in early 2014."

      A true innovator in advanced technology.... IMHO Ford has big recruiting issues....

  2. M7S

    Connected car question - US spelling

    If, the first time, your connected car has a major IT security problem (viz. Fiat, Chrysler/Jeep etc.) some journalistic wag decides to refer to you as "Mr. Hack-it", is this something about which you eventually tyre or tire, given that people drive on the former in the UK but the latter in the US?

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Connected car question

      FORD - Found On Road DDoSed

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, the irony... I didn't even think about his last name, until you mentioned that. Anyone who wants to know just how bad this "autonomous car" nonsense can be, should see move- "FATE OF THE FURIOUS". I will not be buying any car that has any more connectivity than a Radio. Don't need to be messing with apps on a screen, in a car.

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      I will not be buying any car that has any more connectivity than a Radio. Don't need to be messing with apps on a screen, in a car.

      Better buy your last car soon then, because soon you won't have a choice in the matter. In Europe the bureaucrats are mandating eCall from April next year, and that will soon become a precursor to real time tracking and retention of the data (to protect you from terrorists, natch, although it'll then be used for "road pricing" to charge you for the use of said roads). It's getting nigh on impossible to buy a car without on-board analytics, Canbus electronics, and dumb old FM radios are as rare as hen's teeth.

      And shortly after eCall becomes a tracking and road pricing aid, they'll mandate retrofit of these boxes to older vehicles. You can drive, but you can't hide.

      1. R 11

        Equally, last weekend I was driving outside Detroit, MI. A car made a left turn through two stationary lanes of traffic. Unfortunately, a women in a Porsche Cayenne was heading up the third lane at speed, invisible to the turning driver. She plowed straight into his pickup truck. Airbags went off.

        We called 911 about thirty seconds later. On being connected to the operator I saw blue lights approaching from behind. We hadn't even relayed our position but the women's car had called emergency services with its location. That sort of tech can and does save lives.

        Like most technology, it can be used for good or bad. That doesn't mean we shouldn't have it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          R 11 relates a cautionary tale loaded with action, and violence, and fresh fruit!

          Yes, but that is a Porsche, which is a bit more thought out than a Ford, on every level. I've had many a Ford, that's why I drive an Audi. The difference between a fully loaded Mustang GT, and a similarly outfitted German sports car are astounding. Plus, these German cars can go around a corner. And rightly so, for the asking price, but whereas that Porsche Cayenne went ahead and called for help, a Mustang or a Focus would probably just switch the inputs on the stereo, and kick out the CD. If you're lucky the airbags would deploy and then it would send a pic to your Facebook. :P

          "I wouldn't call him cheap, just cheapish." -- Basil Fawlty

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            that Porsche Cayenne went ahead and called for help,

            In a Porsche there's a fair chance that there was someone still alive to help. In a US-built Ford that's probably less likely.

          2. R 11

            All new Ford's with Sync3 have 911 assist as standard. It uses Bluetooth and your cellphone to initiate an automated call reporting the accident and its location. That's been available for two years now. Standard feature with no subscription fee.

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          We hadn't even relayed our position but the women's car had called emergency services with its location. That sort of tech can and does save lives.

          There was a case recently in the UK where a drunk driver crashed his car and it called the emergency services.

          The Police duly turned up, noticed that he was visibly drunk and promptly did him for drunk driving. So the tech does have it's uses :-)

          1. fandom Silver badge

            "There was a case recently in the UK where a drunk driver ..."

            And yet the technology will be ridiculed with nonsense like : "to protect you from terrorists, natch"

  4. gregthecanuck

    Well with the ongoing fiasco of the Ford Focus transmissions I would suggest Ford place more emphasis on getting the basics right. A friend of mine is suffering with the disgusting customer service from Ford on this very issue.

    Shame on Ford. Not surprising they are contemplating 20% global layoffs.

  5. boltar Silver badge

    Feck all this connected car sh1t

    Why are they marketing new cars to kids and 20 somethings who can barely afford them? How about building a car for us older people with things WE care about. You know, old school stuff like decent performance, good looks, decent interior and fuel economy? And maybe diesel engines that don't sound like they've been bought wholesale from Massey Ferguson. As far as performance goes, Ford has pretty much given up in the UK on everything except the Focus (want a nice smooth powerful V6 like they used to ship in the Mondero 220? Forget it. - thrashy 4 cylinders for you pal and lump it tho Ford reckon 3 cylinders 1.0 in a 1.8 ton mondeo is just what the world needs! Yeah, sure.), the interiors are best described as functional, the cars look ok but are nothing special and ditto the fuel economy.

    But hey, forget all that, look at the shiny shiny in the centre console! Ok, it might in reality be some cheap tablet that you could get for 60 quid at Lidl but ... shiny! touchscreen! apps! soshal meja! Bling!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ford has gone downhill recently

    I had a Mk4 Mondeo (the previous generation) for 6 years, far longer than I usually keep a car, because it was so good. Huge interior space, big torquey 2.2 diesel, decent economy (1000km per tank on long runs), built at the tried & tested plan in Genk, Belgium. Not fancy, just a solid "does what it says on the tin" car. When I decided to replace it I tried the new Mk5, it was crap. Rickety construction, doors that shut with a tinny clank, DSG automatic box that never seemed to change in the right place on mountain roads, yet stuffed with useless gadgets like "lane follower" and a speed limit sign reader. Built in some new Spanish factory. When I returned it after the test drive the salesman didn't even bother following up with me.

    1. fandom Silver badge

      Re: Ford has gone downhill recently

      "Built in some new Spanish factory"

      Sure, that factory has only been producing cars for 40 years now, so pretty new as theses things go.

  7. Kev99 Bronze badge

    Connected cars are deadly cars.

    Another thing I don't understand is why companies care so much about their share prices. Once a company sells a share, it generates no revenue for the company and actually costs the company money thru dividends.

    1. boltar Silver badge

      "Another thing I don't understand is why companies care so much about their share prices."

      Amongst other reasons, if the share price drops low enough a company can be subject to a hostile takeover by someone or a group buying up 51% of the shares which means the directors are all out on their arses.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      why companies care so much about their share prices

      Selling shares isn't something which happens in isolation, when a company sells shares it also sells control of those shares. The people who buy them then become a part of the company, and will want their investment to prosper, so there is always an incentive for the shareholders to work for an increase in share price. A company that doesn't care about its share price is a company that will never be able to sell other shares to raise more money.

  8. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    Jim Hacker

    Didn't he once work for the Department of Administrative Affairs?

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