Whenever we think of CEOs, most of us imagine seeing a sharp-dressed executive with years of experience managing a company and is unfazed by challenges or hurdles. Since they play an integral role in the corporate world, we rarely see them engage in activities that could result in them getting injured, or worse, killed.
But that hasn't stopped Ford's new CEO Jim Farley from getting behind the wheel and competing in good old racing. Farley, who recently replaced Jim Hackett as CEO of the Blue Oval, is actually a car guy by heart and has a vast collection of automobiles.
From a 1966 Ford GT40, a Lola T298, a 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca, as well as a 1965 Shelby GT350, he has an arsenal of vehicles that he can go racing in. Farley even got his hands dirty restoring a used 1966 Ford Mustang when he was growing up which he only paid $500. But it is at the racetrack where Farley really enjoys some quality time away from corporate duties.
Farley actually got permission from Bill Ford himself, the executive chairman of the company, to continue racing while also being CEO of the company. Farley added that Bill Ford was actually supportive of his racing hobbies despite its dangers.
“You know, Bill, I just can't stop racing. It's just who I am. It's my yoga. You've got to let me do this if I'm going to be a better CEO. He was very supportive,” said Farley. “When I'm at the track, I'm just Jimmy Car-Car, nothing more. It's a great way to stay humble and connected to the product, and it's a great way for me to relax because I love competing.”
It's not just Jim Farley of Ford that competes in motorsports. Toyota president Akio Toyoda, PSA Group Boss Carlos Tavares, and even Mark Reuss of General Motorsport also regularly compete in motorsports.
Last year, Toyoda actually competed in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring wherein he drove a GR Supra under the alias Morizo. Meanwhile, Tavares regularly participates in historic Monte-Carlo Rally races. Then there's Mark Reuss who has been a lifelong auto enthusiast and has a racing license for FIA C and IMSA Road Racing.
With Jim Farley now at the helm of Ford, could this mean that the Blue Oval will continue to churn out high-performance cars despite the onset of hybrids and electrification? With racing in his blood, we can be sure that Farley will try and make high-performance cars available for the public, as well as for himself.