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Ford’s Stock Slump Under Hackett Exceeds Predecessor’s Rout

Keith Naughton
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Ford’s Stock Slump Under Hackett Exceeds Predecessor’s Rout

(Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. stock has now fallen further under Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett than it did during the leadership of his predecessor, who was ousted by the company’s board.

The automaker’s shares have declined 40% since Hackett became CEO in May 2017, replacing Mark Fields, who was pushed out by Ford directors unhappy with the direction of the company. During the 35-month tenure of Fields as CEO, Ford’s stock fell 37%.

Hackett is under pressure to accelerate his $11 billion restructuring after a disastrous rollout of the redesigned Explorer SUV led to dismal earnings and a disappointing profit forecast. While Hackett maintains the support of Executive Chairman Bill Ford, great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, he shook up his management team last month by installing Jim Farley as his new No. 2 executive to speed up the company’s turnaround efforts.

Ford shares fell as much as 4.2% Friday to $6.46 the lowest intraday in more than a decade.

“The company must earn back the trust of the market by delivering results ... as in not missing numbers for the rest of this year and showing a real path to improving profitability significantly,” Adam Jonas, an analyst for Morgan Stanley, wrote in a March 3 research note. He rates Ford the equivalent of a buy but last month switched his top pick from Ford to General Motors Co.

(Updates with Friday intraday trading in fourth paragraph)

--With assistance from Nancy Moran.

To contact the reporter on this story: Keith Naughton in Southfield, Michigan at knaughton3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net, Chester Dawson, Melinda Grenier

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