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August 4, 2020 10:30 AM, EDT

Ford to Promote Farley to CEO After Hackett’s Failed Turnaround Bid

James Farley speaks as Jim Hackett listens during an event at CES in Las Vegas in 2018.Jim Farley speaks as Jim Hackett listens during an event at CES in Las Vegas in 2018. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)

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Ford Motor Co. will promote Jim Farley to CEO on Oct. 1 to replace Jim Hackett, who has elected to retire after his three-year bid to turn around the automaker failed to gain traction.

Farley, 58, became chief operating officer in March when his main internal rival was ousted after the botched launch of the Ford Explorer SUV. Ford’s stock was slumping under Hackett, 65, before the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated the second-largest U.S. automaker’s woes.

Last week, Ford posted a second-quarter operating loss that was less than half the $5 billion deficit it had predicted, due in part to demand for its SUVs and trucks holding up better than feared. But some of the company’s overperformance also could be chalked up to an on-paper gain from its investment in self-driving startup Argo AI.

Ford shares climbed as much as 1.7% shortly after the open of regular trading. The stock still is down 28% this year.

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