In October of 2020 Jim Farley’s passion for automobiles culminated with his appointment as CEO of Ford Motor Company. In this role, Farley has focused on leading the iconic brand through the digital and electric revolution that is sweeping the automotive industry. Under Farley’s leadership, Ford has already boosted investment in electric vehicles (EVs) to more than $50 billion and has set ambitious targets for scaling their production to 600,000 EVs a year by the end of this year. Based on this ongoing success, in March 2022, the executive added the title of president to his impressive resume.
Farley, who is only the eleventh person to serve as CEO in Ford's storied history, has been with the company since 2007. Most recently, he served as Ford’s Chief Operating Officer. Known for being instrumental in the ongoing reinvention of the Lincoln brand, he's previously served as president of new businesses, technology, and strategy. Before that, he served as Ford’s President of Global Markets, among several other roles at the automaker.
Farley’s connection with his company can be traced back to his grandfather, Emmett Tracy, an early employee of Ford founder Henry Ford. As a youngster, Farley would visit his grandfather, who was helping to build Ford Model T vehicles. By the age of 14, Farley was rebuilding car engines for extra money. Knowing that education was important, he studied economics at Georgetown University, and then received his MBA from UCLA in 1990.
That same year, he was hired by Toyota Motor Company to help launch its new luxury brand, Lexus. He spent nearly 20 years with the Japanese automaker. During this time, Farley served in several product and marketing positions in the U.S. and Europe.
Farley, who happens to be the cousin of famed comedian Chris Farley, is also a strong advocate of giving back to his community. Over the years, he's been a frequent volunteer for the Pope Francis Center in Detroit. He also recently served as the Chairman of the capital campaign for the Center’s new Bridge Housing Campus.
In July 2021, Farley was nominated to join the board of directors for Harley-Davidson in a push to revitalize the motorcycle maker and prepare it for an electric future. The Ford CEO also serves on the board of directors of the U.S.-China Business Council and is co-chair for the Future of Mobility Commission. Additionally, his passion for automobiles continues outside of the boardroom. Not only is he a collector and racer of vintage vehicles, Farley recently launched DRIVE, a podcast that focuses on America’s love affair with cars.