Ford Motor Company has announced that its president and CEO Jim Hackett will step down at the start of October 2020, with Jim Farley set to step into the role.

The 65-year-old Hackett has led the Blue Oval brand since 2017.

The company says Hackett and 58-year-old Farley will “work together on a smooth leadership transition” over the next two months. Hackett will to serve as a “special advisor” until March 2021.

“I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernise Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future,” said Bill Ford, the firm’s executive chairman.

“Our new product vision – led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150 and Bronco family – is taking shape. We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble, which was apparent when we quickly mobilized to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic.”

Farley joined Ford in 2007 as global head of marketing and sales, and went on to lead Lincoln, Ford South America, Ford of Europe and all Ford global markets.

In April 2019, Farley was named to lead Ford’s new businesses, technology and strategy team. In February 2020, he was named chief operating officer.

“Jim Farley matches an innate feel for cars and customers with great instincts for the future and the new technologies that are changing our industry,” Bill Ford said.

“Jim’s passion for great vehicles and his intense drive for results are well known, and I have also seen him develop into a transformational leader with the determination and foresight to help Ford thrive into the future.”

Hackett said his goal when taking on the CEO role was to prepare Ford “to win in the future”.

“The hardest thing for a proud, long-lived company to do is change to meet the challenges of the world it’s entering rather than the world it has known. I’m very proud of how far we have come in creating a modern Ford and I am very optimistic about the future,” Hackett said.

“I have worked side-by-side with Jim Farley for the past three years and have the greatest confidence in him as a person and a leader. He has been instrumental in crafting our new product portfolio and redesigning our businesses around the world. He is also a change agent with a deep understanding of how to lead Ford in this new era defined by smart vehicles in a smart world.”

Farley, meanwhile, said he was “honoured by the opportunity to serve and create value for Ford’s employees, customers, dealers, communities and all of our stakeholders”.

“Jim Hackett has laid the foundation for a really vibrant future and we have made tremendous progress in the past three years. I am so excited to work together with the whole Ford team to realize the full potential of this great company in a new era,” Farley said.