Ford Motor Co. F -0.72% is appointing strategy chief Jim Farley as its chief operating officer, who will be taking over broader responsibilities from retiring president of automotive Joe Hinrichs, according to people familiar with the matter.
Ford planned to announce the leadership shake-up to employees Friday morning.
The moves comes three days after Ford missed fourth-quarter earnings targets and issued disappointing profit guidance for 2020. Ford cited problematic launches of key models, including a redesigned Explorer sport-utility vehicle, as a factor for weak results in the second half of last year.
Mr. Hinrichs, a longtime manufacturing guru at Ford, was named president of automotive operations in April, putting him in charge of the company’s vast car-manufacturing network globally. At the time, it made Mr. Farley head of new businesses, strategy and technology, tasking him with charting Ford’s course as technological advances like electric and driverless cars disrupt the auto business.
Mr. Farley’s elevation to operations chief could position him as a potential successor to 64-year-old Chief Executive Jim Hackett, who has led Ford for nearly three years.
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