Ford CEO Says ‘Hell Yes’ to Keeping Job
(Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co.’s Jim Hackett is taking some heat for his turnaround efforts from a Wall Street analyst who questions how much longer the chief executive officer will be around.
Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas pressed Ford’s CEO for more detail on what $11 billion worth of restructuring will buy the second-largest U.S. automaker, which announced Wednesday it may need three to five years to revamp itself. The analyst asked whether Hackett, 63, will still be in the job by the time Ford is ready to hold an investor day and give more specifics.
“Hell yes, I expect to be in front of everybody declaring where we’re going and what we want to get done,” Hackett responded. “There should be zero question around that.”
Jonas wasn’t done. “I really do hope you can reconsider the communications strategy, because it’s just not good enough, Bob,” he said to Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks.
This is the second noteworthy exchange Hackett has had with Jonas since taking over the top job in May 2017. During the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, the analyst took the CEO to task for his unwillingness to describe his restructuring initiatives in greater detail.
“That’s a problem, Jim,” Jonas said on the Jan. 24 call. “When are we going to be very clear and transparent about this, so that the investors and your associates at Ford can kind of rally around the mission? How long we have to wait?”
For all his criticisms of the boss, Jonas upgraded Ford to the equivalent of a buy in March and has a $16 target price on the shares.
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