“These are new growth initiatives that could create a lot of value for the company,” Farley informed Reuters, after the automaker announced that he will succeed Jim Hackett as the automaker’s fourth CEO since 2014.
Together with Ford’s work on self-driving vehicles, “these are concrete areas that will change Ford,” Farley said. “They’re going to impact the company’s future look and feel.”
In the meantime, Farley, 58, must battle with a difficult restructuring of Ford’s global operations amid the coronavirus crisis.
Executive Chairman Bill Ford said the company had not considered outside candidates as the company’s “board felt that we were on the right path” with Farley.
“I wouldn’t expect any big surprises,” Ford said in terms of extra management changes.
Farley, who joined the automaker in 2007, was named chief operating officer in March soon after his main internal competitor for the top role at the automaker, Joe Hinrichs, declared his retirement.
Hackett and Farley will work together for a two-month transition period, and Hackett, 65, will continue as a company advisor until March 2021.
Ford shares increased 1.1% in afternoon trading, after initially increasing 3% on news of Farley’s succession as CEO.
The stock has lost almost 40% of its value since Hackett took the reins as CEO in May 2017 and has been at lows not seen since the economic crisis in 2009.
In the year to date, the automaker’s shares have declined 26% and its market capitalization of $27 billion is one-tenth that of rival electric automaker Tesla.
In an SEC filing, Ford said Farley’s yearly base salary increased to $1,700,000 from $1,400,000, while Hackett’s remained unmodified at $1.8 million. Farley will get stock options valued at $4,000,000.