The 56-year-old CEO of Ford Motor Company, Mark Fields, has lost his job as the company's head honcho after spending some 28 years with the automaker.
That comes as Ford has issued a number of recalls this year, and is said to be planning significant cuts to its workforce. Meanwhile, shareholders have been gradually losing faith in the company's future. Ford's market capitalization is now about $43.6 billion—$7 billion lower than that of Tesla (tsla, -0.15%), an electric carmaker that is only intermittently profitable.
Here are three things to know about Fields:
1. Fields, who wanted to be an astronaut early on in life, has been with the company since 1989, working in various locations around the world. But when the previous Ford CEO, Alan Mulally, joined in 2006, Fields was not expected to stay on as the company's head of North America operations, the Wall Street Journal reported. Why? For one thing, it didn't help that Fields was using the company's corporate jet to fly home even as Ford was losing $12.6 billion that year.
But when that fact came to light, Fields gave up the travel option. And he was soon working closely—and working well—with Mulally. Under Fields' guidance, the North American operations soon became Ford's "profit engine," the Journal wrote. Fields was named Ford COO in 2012 and CEO in 2014.
2. Though Fields' pay jumped roughly 19% to $22.1 million in 2016, Ford shares had fallen nearly 14% in the same period. The company's value has continued to erode in shareholder's eyes. Since Fields took on the role of CEO in mid-2014, shares of Ford have dropped 36%.
"We don't manage our company on day-to-day stock price movements, but we are absolutely committed to creating shareholder value," Fields told Fortune in April, after the market cap of electric carmaker Tesla first rose above Ford's.
Considering that Ford (f, +1.84%) is moving to another CEO, shareholders don't seem to think Fields has fulfilled that commitment.
3. Under Fields, Ford began taking on Tesla and autonomous vehicles, spending funds to developing electric and self-driving cars. It is partly due to those investments that the carmaker's stock has remained low. The CEO warned a few months ago that company profits would sag due to that spending, and wouldn't rebound until 2018. Fields' replacement, 62-year-old Jim Hackett, heads a division of Ford that develops driverless technology.