Ford's New Chief Information Officer Sankaran Returns to the Automaker

Vijay Sankaran worked at Ford for 12 years until 2013, when he left for TD Ameritrade.
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TD Ameritrade Chief Information Officer Vijay Sankaran is returning to Ford (F) - Get Report as chief software and information officer.

Sankaran, 47 years old, worked at Ford for 12 years until 2013, when he left for TD Ameritrade, now part of Charles Schwab  (SCHW) - Get Report. In his first stint at Ford, Sankaran ended up as Ford IT’s chief technology officer.

Sankaran will join the company Nov. 16, reporting to CEO Jim Farley. Sankaran was previously at TD Ameritrade for seven years, the last four as chief information officer.

“Inventive companies use software, data and AI [artificial intelligence] to reimagine and deliver highly differentiated product quality, operating efficiency and customer services,” Sankaran said. “Brand loyalty and growth are turbocharged in organizations that are rich with and driven by data.”

Ford recently traded at $7.79, up 0.77%, but has slumped 16% year to date amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, Morningstar analyst David Whiston raised his fair value for the stock to $13 from $8.

“Our new fair value takes into account a stronger 2020 than previously modeled, less debt, a 20 basis point reduction in our weighted average cost of capital due to a change in our model’s cost of debt, the time value of money, and an increase in our mid-cycle automotive EBIT margin excluding equity income to 4.5% from 4%,” he wrote in a commentary.

“As long as Covid-19 does not shutdown the U.S. economy for a long time like in the spring, we think Ford can have a strong 2021, even with parts of the U.S. economy not in great shape. Key to 2021 will be continued cost reduction measures and good volume growth from key launches.”