Sherif Marakby has returned to Ford as the VP of AVs & Electrification after a brief stint with Uber. Marakby's VP title will be effective June 12.
The news of Uber departure was announced in April. He worked with Ford Motor Co. for 25 years before leaving to become Uber's Vice President of Global Vehicle Programs in 2016.
It's no surprise that Marakby joined the executive exodus from Uber given the year they're having.
Grayson Brulte, the co-founder of Brulte & Company and Autonomous Tomorrow, also pointed out that appointing the old reliable Marakby was a sign of Ford "going all in" in the drive towards autonomous success, given his experience and track record.
This is another clear indication that Ford is going all in on electric connected autonomous vehicles. The big question that remains is, will Ford take the bold step to disrupt their current business model before the market fades away? The market is moving away from ownership and towards on-demand point-to-point shared mobility.
How does Ford avoid becoming a contract manufacturer without fully cannibalizing their cash flow, while they disrupt their current business model and focus on the future?
Like Uber, 2017 has been challenging for Ford; having recently sacked their CEO Mark Fields after there was a 40% drop in shares since he took over in 2014. Jim Hackett, formerly the chairman of Ford's self-driving division, has taken his place.
Evidently, Ford is trying to select the right contenders like Marakby and Hackett to do battle in an increasingly crowded driverless field.