DETROIT — Ford Motor Co.’s incoming CFO, Tim Stone, said his experience at Amazon Inc. has prepared him for his new job despite his industry outsider status.
Among his roles at the online retail giant, Stone, 52, oversaw the company’s investment in brick-and-mortar stores, including its integration with Whole Foods. Speaking Wednesday at the Goldman Sachs Industrials & Materials Conference in New York, Stone said the melding of traditional and new-age companies is similar to what’s happening at Ford.
“You were able to bring together the strengths of two different businesses that had very similar visions to achieve more together,” Stone said. “I see some opportunities within Ford similarly. We can enhance customer experiences with utilizing technology for new services and product benefits.”
Stone joins Ford as the automaker adds new mobility services and autonomous vehicle technology while redesigning its core business of building and selling new vehicles. Despite the rapid pace of change, Stone said Ford will remain committed to the qualities that have defined it for more than a century.
“When you look at Whole Foods, their customers wanted outstanding value, high quality, low prices and more convenience with more stores,” he said. “For us, we’re focusing on things that aren’t going to change over time. Customers are going to want fantastic product, great services in their cars, and they’re going to want us to focus on the customer experience day in and day out.”
Stone will succeed Bob Shanks as CFO on June 1. Shanks, who joined Ford in 1977, will stay on through the end of the year to assist on special projects.
Shanks, 66, said Stone brings “a diverse voice, new perspectives and a different experience.”
Still, he said Ford faces a number of challenges overseas, such as dealer profitability in China and an ongoing restructuring in Europe, which he described as “rolling thunder as opposed to a big bang.”
The automaker has said it expects to post better financial results this year than in 2018 as it continues to implement CEO Jim Hackett’s vision of the future. Stone said he’ll try to aid in that transformation.
“It’s just one more voice at the table to make the right decisions for the company from a strategic standpoint over the long term,” Stone said. “I’m a big ball of energy; I’m going to be a new addition of energy to that process.”