Jim Hackett is president and chief executive officer, Ford Motor Company, effective May 22, 2017. He also is a member of the company’s board of directors. He elects to retire on October 1, 2020 but will continue as a special advisor to the company through March 2021.
Under Hackett’s leadership, Ford moved aggressively into the new era of smart vehicles and drove a deeper focus on customers’ wants and needs. At the same time, Ford improved the fitness of the base business – restructuring operations, invigorating the product portfolio and reducing bureaucracy.
Prior to serving as CEO, Hackett was chairman of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, a subsidiary of Ford formed to accelerate the company’s plans to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services. He was named to the position March 10, 2016.
Before joining Ford Smart Mobility, Hackett was a member of the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors starting in 2013. As a member of the Sustainability and Innovation committee, he was actively involved with the Ford senior leadership team in launching the company’s Ford Smart Mobility plan. He also served on the Audit and the Nominating and Governance committees.
Hackett was vice chairman of Steelcase, the global leader in the office furniture industry, from 2014 to 2015. He retired as CEO of Steelcase in February 2014, after having spent 20 years leading the Grand Rapids-based office furniture company.
As a consumer-focused visionary in the office furniture industry, Hackett is credited with guiding Steelcase to becoming a global leader. During his 30 years there, he helped transform the office furniture company from traditional manufacturer to industry innovator. Having spent his career focused on the evolving needs of consumers, Hackett is recognized for 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 well 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. At that time in 1996, IDEO specialized in the design of a number of consumer products, office equipment, medical instrumentation, furniture and computers including design of the first “mouse” for early Apple computers.
He was interim director of athletics at the University of Michigan from October 31, 2014 to March 11, 2016 where he led the search for a permanent athletic director appointed in January 2016. He played center on the University of Michigan football team prior to graduating from the university with a bachelor’s degree in 1977.