Is LaSorda Being Pressed Out of a Job?

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

Chryslerberus is just full of surprises. First they unexpectedly demoted replaced Tom LaSorda with Robert Nardelli as CEO. Now Bloomberg reports that Jim Press, former President of Toyota Motors in North America is joining the dark side the Cerberus team as Chrysler's Vice Chairman and President. Press, the first non-Japanese to head TMNA, will "be responsible for North American Sales, International Sales, Global Marketing, Product Strategy, and Service and Parts for Chrysler LLC." Tom LaSorda, who is also Vice Chairman and President, will be responsible for "Manufacturing, Procurement and Supply, Employee Relations and Global Business Development and Alliances." It looks like they may have about one President too many. We hope LaSorda has his golden parachute strapped on nice and tight.

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  • Rheath2 Rheath2 on Sep 06, 2007

    While nearly everyone here seems to be drawing a reference to the situation when the Germans took over in 98 with dual CEOs in Schrempp and Eaton, I see it differently. It has been well noted that particular partnership was doomed due to distance and culture differences. It's not like Press is in an office in Tokyo doing voice confrencing with Nardelli and LaSorda in Auburn Hills. I still see LaSorda sticking around for a while, seeing as how his specialty is in union relations and manufacturing. If he doesn't produce results with more of the people Cerebrus has surrounded him with, then I can understand him being pushed out. It's still too early to read an entirely accurate answer.

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Sep 07, 2007

    Today Chrysler picked off GM's top man in China: This fits with my theory that Chrysler is going to morph as rapidly as possible into a designer and seller or cars, but with the manufacturing outsourced to the low cost provider. As I've been saying, most US consumer product companies as well as much of the industrial products sector went this way in the past decades and it fits with Nardelli's most recent background.

  • Crc Crc on Sep 07, 2007

    KatiePuckrik -"Even if Toyota were to takeover Chrysler, it would render the whole exercise pointless, because Chrysler would be an Japanese company and, therefore, be a turn-off to rednecks patriots." Wow. Thanks Katie. Just because I love my Jeep and plan on purchasing another I'm now a redneck. Oh sorry, you said patriot. And yes I would drop the Jeep brand like a hot turd if Toyota took over because it wouldn't be a Jeep anymore.

  • Michael Karesh Michael Karesh on Sep 07, 2007

    I don't think LaSorda is being pressed out (nice title). He and Press have perfectly complementary skill sets. What I foresee happening is that the current triumvirate will make the company suitable for sale, and once sold Nardelli will be gone. Then you'll have Press as Chair and CEO and LaSorda as Predident and COO. From what I can gather, Press and LaSorda are both team players who won't let their egos get in the way of making this set-up work. Or course, I could be wrong, and LaSorda could be gone next week. Time will tell.