Ford Employees Show Falling Confidence in CEO Jim Hackett

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The Wall Street Journal reports that confidence in Ford CEO Jim Hackett’s plan and his ability to lay it out clearly have taken a dive. The newspaper got ahold of internal surveys that covered, among other things, perceptions of Hackett.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

About 47% of respondents polled in recent months said they felt top management “gives employees a clear picture of the direction in which the company is headed,” down from 57% last year and 81% in 2016, the year before Mr. Hackett took over as CEO, the documents show

And:

When asked about the company’s strategy, 56% of respondents this year said they felt “the company was making the changes necessary to effectively compete,” about even with last year’s survey results but a decline from 76% in 2016, according to the documents reviewed.

While recent earnings were better than Wall Street expected, 24/7 Wall St. wrote that not all investors where happy. In an article titled, “Ford Still Trades Well Below 52-Week High, Underperforms GM”:

Despite what some investors believe was good earnings news that caused a rally in the shares of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), its stock continues to trade well below its 52-week high and has performed poorly compared to the stock of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) over the past year. There remains a good deal of skepticism about Ford’s future, particularly in its core car sales business in the United States and China, the world’s two largest car markets.

Ford’s shares are down over 7% in the past year to $10.41. Its 52-week high is $12.15. GM’s shares are up 8% for the same time frame to $39.68, while the S&P 500 is up 11%.

A look at Ford’s earnings gives a partial explanation for the weak stock performance. In the first quarter, revenue was $40.3 billion, which was down $1.6 billion from the same period a year ago. Net income was $1.1 billion, down $.6 billion over the same period. Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO, said: “With a solid plan in place, we promised 2019 would be a year of action and execution for Ford, and that’s what we delivered in the first quarter.” Nevertheless, the numbers went down.

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