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Ford names former Snap, Amazon exec Tim Stone as financial chief

Tim Stone, CFO of Ford
Courtesy: Ford

Ford has hired Tim Stone, the chief financial officer from social media company Snap, to replace current CFO Bob Shanks, who is retiring at the end of 2019, the company said Thursday.

Stone started as CFO at Snap in May 2018, according to his LinkedIn page. Before that he was a 20 year veteran of Amazon.

Given the continued integration of tech and the auto industry, hiring someone with tech and finance expertise like Stone has looks like a good move for Ford. GM is partnering with Amazon via GM's OnStar service and perhaps Stone can help Ford have more ties to Amazon and other tech firms over time.

Shanks' retirement was widely expected.

"We think this is a very unusual choice and can only speculate on the rationale for the hiring decision," said CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson. "Perhaps CEO Jim Hackett is more comfortable surrounding himself with executives who similarly lack automotive industry experience or maybe it's a sign that Ford is going to shake up its traditional business model even more. One thing we do know is that shareholders are growing increasingly impatient with the stock's performance as Hackett's two-year anniversary at the helm approaches."

It also might be a sign that Ford is responding to shifts in the automotive market, as technology firms invest ever more heavily in transportation.

"Given the continued integration of tech and the auto industry, hiring someone with tech and finance expertise like Stone has looks like a good move for Ford," said Morningstar analyst Dave Whiston. "GM is partnering with Amazon via GM's OnStar service and perhaps Stone can help Ford have more ties to Amazon and other tech firms over time."

Ford shares were flat in premarket trading Thursday. The automaker's stock price has sunk more than 22 percent in the last 12 months, but climbed 11 percent since the beginning of the year.

Several other executives at Ford are making moves as well. The company appointed North American Chief Operating Officer Stuart Rowley to president of Ford Europe.

The automaker also said two other executives plan to retire: Peter Fleet, president of the international markets group, and Birgit Behrendt, Ford's vice president of joint ventures, alliances and commercial affairs in Europe.

Fleet is a nearly 30-year veteran of the company, and previously was served as president of Asia Pacific, and had also served as vice president of sales for Ford in Europe.

Behrendt held roles in purchasing in Europe and the U.S., including running Ford's global purchasing operations.