Ford Motor Co. is reportedly firing CEO Mark Fields in a major shakeup of the Michigan-based company’s management. The move comes as the auto maker seeks to expand its venture into self-driving cars and ride-sharing services to keep up with competitors. Citing officials close to the situation, The New York Times reported late Sunday that Jim Hackett will take Fields’ place at the helm of the company. Hackett, who joined the company last year as the head of its “smart mobility” segment, now oversees a Ford subsidiary that specializes in autonomous vehicles. Fields’ ouster comes after he was repeatedly criticized for not doing enough to develop future technologies in the auto industry, while at the same time failing to boost Ford’s core car production business. During his three years leading the company, Ford’s share price dropped 40 percent. As the company struggles to keep a foothold in a market that is quickly gravitating toward innovative technologies, Ford has promised to have an autonomous vehicle up and running by 2021. General Motors and Google have already begun testing their self-driving vehicles, while Tesla is due to release its own mass-market electric car later this year.
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