“Jim Hackett once sold office furniture to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs,” Jeff Green, Keith Naughton, and Jamie Butters report for Bloomberg. “He also landed Jim Harbaugh to coach University of Michigan football. Neither were easy tasks.”

“Now he has to convince investors and car buyers that Ford Motor Co. has a better idea for self-driving vehicles than the smarties in Silicon Valley — while dodging potential flak from President Donald Trump,” Green, Naughton, and Butters report. “Hackett replaced Mark Fields on Monday as CEO of the 114-year-old automaker, which is struggling with declining profits and disappointing stock performance. While he’s spent most of his career running a furniture business, the 62-year-old Hackett has a reputation as a visionary executive comfortable in the high-tech world, who’s also willing to take the scalpel to a workforce. In his 20 years as Steelcase Inc.’s CEO, Hackett cut 12,000 jobs and shifted the company from just making furniture to re-imaging how people work.”

“Should Hackett find himself cutting jobs at Ford, he’ll risk the wrath of Trump, which his predecessor felt so painfully when deciding to move small-car production to Mexico,” Green, Naughton, and Butters report. “Hackett recalled also making an impression on the famously temperamental Jobs. When Steelcase invested in the design firm IDEO in 1996, Jobs joked to a mutual friend that competitor Herman Miller Inc. was the better choice for office furniture. That led Hackett to personally sell Jobs on the merits of the products Steelcase offered. Soon, Apple’s offices were filled with Steelcase furniture.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And now he may be taking on – or working with – another Apple CEO one day soon.

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s self-driving car spotted on the 101 in Palo Alto – May 22, 2017
Ford’s first over-the-air software update adds Apple CarPlay support – May 19, 2017