This week, we speak with Darren Palmer, who was recently named Ford Motor Co.’s vice president for electric vehicle programs. Palmer was previously Ford’s head of battery-electric vehicles, where he was responsible for leading the automaker’s EV business in North America. He oversees Ford’s $50 billion shift to electrification and helped launch the Mustang Mach E, the E transit, and F150 Lightning. Prior positions at Ford include Product Development, Product Planning, Manufacturing, and Quality.
We discuss how Ford had fallen behind on EVs, and decided they need a clean sheet reboot. Team Edison was the result, a start-up operating within the 120-year old Ford Motor Company. The group had its own budget, designer, internal approval process, idle factories, and flat hierarchy. They were able to create their own tech-forward solutions on their own timeline.
He explains how his group obtained buy-ins from a set of designers, systems analysts, software programmers, and engineers. Palmer found the best way he can work nimbly is to serve the employees by clearing the path in front of them, obtaining whatever they need to succeed in their jobs. “What do you need” is the driving question to his group.
A list of his favorite books is here; A transcript of our conversation is available here Monday.
You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Samara Cohen, BlackRock’s Chief Investment Officer for ETFs & Index Investments. BlackRock manages over $10 trillion in assets, and Cohen’s Index and ETF group is responsible for $3.27 trillion of it.
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Nudge: The Final Edition by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein