Ford turns to pooches to get talent
This year, when Ford Motor Co went outside the company for the first time in 70 years to hire a CFO, he came with an impressive pedigree — a resume that included top jobs at Amazon and Snap. He also came with a pedigreed sidekick: a chief furry officer.
Wander past Tim Stone's glass-walled office on the 12th floor of Ford's world headquarters and lying at his feet is his lively, seven-year-old Australian shepherd, Finley.
Finley is the C-suite mascot for a pilot programme offered to 1,300 office employees at Ford allowing them to bring their dogs to work. It's part of a larger effort by Ford to attract hard-to-get tech talent.
Studies have shown that all-day access to man's best friend can reduce stress, improve productivity and possibly even curb employee turnover. There's even a ranking of the most dog-friendly companies by a Seattle-based pet service company — which is appropriately named Rover. Atop the list is Amazon, which has 7,000 registered dogs, giving it a human-to-hound ratio of 7 to 1.
Part of Stone's mission at Ford is to challenge convention as the company works through a wrenching $11bn (about R161bn) restructuring and embraces electric and self-driving cars.
A spokesperson emphasised that it remains just a test and dogs aren't allowed in areas such as cafeterias and conference rooms. There is no doggy day-care or bowls of treats, such as at Amazon. Still, Stone says: “It totally changed the dynamic in so many ways. It just relaxes everybody.”