Anonymous sources tell the Wall Street Journal that former Toyota executive and current Chrysler Deputy CEO Jim Press will leave the Pentastar by the end of November. Press, who currently serves as a special adviser to Sergio Marchionne tells the WSJ ,”I don’t think anything has been released about management changes,” echoing Chrysler’s official “no comment.”
Press was hired away from Toyota two years ago to much acclaim. “This is quite a coup for Chrysler,” said industry analyst Jim Hall at the time. “Press understands automotive sales better than 98 percent of people involved in the business. More significantly, he has real product savvy, something that Chrysler desperately needs.” Ironically, one of Press’ highest-profile roles in his two-year Auburn Hills sojourn came when he was grilled by Congress about Chrysler’s dealer cull. Now that he’s looking for work again, will Press get the same awestruck praise as he did after leaving Toyota? Don’t count on it.