James Hackett (businessman)

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Jim Hackett
Jim Hackett.jpg
President and CEO of Ford Motor Company
Assumed office
May 22, 2017
Preceded byMark Fields
Personal details
Born (1955-04-22) April 22, 1955 (age 63)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
ResidenceGrand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Michigan (BA)

James Patrick "Jim" Hackett (born April 22, 1955) is an American businessman who is the president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company.[1][2]

Early life, education, and family[edit]

The Hackett family was originally from Central Ohio via County Carlow and County Galway in Ireland.[3] Hackett is a 1977 graduate of the University of Michigan, where he played center on the football team. He holds a bachelor's degree in finance. He and his wife, Kathy, have two sons. They reside in Grand Rapids, Michigan.[4]


From 1977 to 1981, Hackett held sales and management positions at Procter & Gamble in Detroit, Michigan.

Hackett spent thirty years with the Grand Rapids-based office furniture company Steelcase. He joined Steelcase in 1981, holding a variety of sales and marketing positions. In 1994, Hackett was named CEO at age 39, making him the youngest leader in the history of the company. He held the position for nearly twenty years before retiring in 2014. During his tenure, Steelcase eliminated nearly 12,000 employees as part of a downsizing and restructuring of the business;[5] he also led the company to acquire a majority stake in IDEO in 1996.[6] Hackett stayed on as vice chairman of the company from 2014 to 2015.[5]

He was interim director of athletics at the University of Michigan, his alma mater, from October 31, 2014 to March 11, 2016. Hackett led the hiring of former San Francisco 49ers's coach and fellow U-M alumnus Jim Harbaugh as the university's football coach.[7] He donated $300,000 of his annual $600,000 salary as interim athletic director to "Athletes Connected," a program that's designed to support the mental health of student-athletes.[8]

In 2013, Hackett joined the Ford Motor Company's board of directors. He served on its Sustainability and Innovation Committee and the Audit and the Nominating and Governance committees.

Hackett oversaw the formation of Ford Smart Mobility, a unit responsible for experimenting with car-sharing programs at Ford Motor Company, self-driving ventures and other programs aimed at helping the 114-year-old automaker better compete with Uber Technologies Inc., Alphabet Inc. and other tech giants looking to edge in on the auto industry.[9]

On May 22, 2017, Hackett succeeded Mark Fields as president and CEO of Ford Motor Company. He is also a member of the company's board of directors. The move came as Ford announced cuts to its global workforce amid efforts to address the company's declining share price and to improve profits. The company is targeting $3 billion in cost reduction and a nearly 10 percent reduction in the salaried workforce in Asia and North America this year to enhance earnings in 2018.[10][11][12]

Hackett serves on the board of directors for Northwestern Mutual Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Steelcase Foundation in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a member of the executive committee of the board of directors for the National Center for Arts and Technology, as well as the boards of advisors to the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan. Additionally, he is a past president of the Institute of Design Board of Overseers at the Illinois Institute of Technology.[13]

In January 2019, Hackett sent an email to Ford employees that read, "2018 was mediocre by any standard. Yes, we made $7 billion last year. But think of it this way: this represents a 4.4 percent operating margin, about half what we believe is an appropriate margin. So we are aiming for much closer to $14 billion.”[14]


  1. ^ Ford Motor Company (22 May 2017). "Jim Hackett, President and Chief Executive Officer". Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  2. ^ New York Times. "As Profit Dwindles, Ford Is Said to Replace Its C.E.O." Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Jim Hackett/Ford Motor Company".
  4. ^ "STEELCASE CEO SPREADS AROUND THE CREDIT – The Wege Foundation". www.wegefoundation.com. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  5. ^ a b "Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett leaves 'remarkable' tenure at retirement". MLive.com. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  6. ^ Useem, Jerry (2019-02-04). "Why Ford Hired a Furniture Maker as CEO". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  7. ^ "How U-M's Jim Hackett sought and closed Jim Harbaugh". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  8. ^ "Michigan interim AD Jim Hackett donates half his salary to 'Athletes Connected' program". MLive.com. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  9. ^ "Who is Jim Hackett, Ford's new CEO". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  10. ^ Martinez, Michael (May 17, 2017). "Ford to cut 1,400 salaried jobs in North America, Asia". Automotive News. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  11. ^ Bomey, Nathan (May 17, 2017). "Ford to slash 10% of salaried jobs in North America, Asia". USA Today. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  12. ^ Stoll, John D. "Ford to replace CEO Mark Fields with Jim Hackett". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  13. ^ "James Hackett | Bio | Premiere Motivational Speakers Bureau". premierespeakers.com. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  14. ^ "Ford CEO tells employees: 'Time to bury' 2018, focus on doubling..." Reuters. 2019-01-25. Retrieved 2019-01-25.

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Mark Fields
Chief executive officer of the Ford Motor Company