Ford Taps EV Specialist As Future CFO

Ford Motor, one of the pillars of the US auto industry, has mined the electric vehicle subsector for its next CFO.

Sherry House, 52, who becomes Ford’s vice president of finance on June 3, joins from Lucid Motors, where she spent three years helping to deploy its first luxury electric vehicle. John Lawler, Ford’s current CFO, who has been promoted to vice chair, will chaperone House in transitioning to the CFO role in 2025.

The move from a startup to one of Detroit’s Big Three is a surprise, but it demonstrates Ford’s determination to become an EV player. Jim Farley, Ford’s CEO, has admitted publicly in quarterly earning presentations that the EV segment has been the “main drag on the company”; he expects to finish 2024 with a loss of more than $5 billion in the EV division.

Ford needs “urgently to build a profitable EV business and generate new and recurring revenue streams,” Farley said in introducing House.

The future CFO arrives as an outsider, but not altogether. She was instrumental in Lucid’s launch as a publicly traded company, and she previously spent several years at Waymo, Alphabet’s driverless technology subsidiary. Nevertheless, in returning to Michigan, she claims to come back to her family roots; her grandfather was a tool and die maker at Ford and she earlier worked at supplier Visteon and at General Motors.

She will face numerous challenges finding a path to profitability in EVs for Ford, however, including navigating price cuts, Chinese competition, environmental initiatives, lack of charging infrastructure across the US, and short-term tepid demand for EVs. And outsiders’ reception can be brutal in the auto industry. Tim Stone, who joined Ford in as CFO from SNAP in 2019, only lasted 18 months before switching to a software company.