Category: People

By on October 5, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk loves railing against shortsellers to the same degree that normal, regular people enjoy eating and breathing. As his company’s stock continues a downward slide initiated and perpetuated by Musk’s completely avoidable antics, the CEO decided that mocking a securities regulator and endangering a settlement reached on Saturday was a good and proper course of action. And so he took to Twitter Thursday night to make it happen.

It’s gotten to the point where young investors and diehard Tesla fans have taken to social media, begging him to cut it out. Read More >

By on October 2, 2018

Image: Audi AG

Rupert Stadler, now former CEO of Audi, saw his contract with Volkswagen Group terminated on Tuesday, thus allowing the automaker to distance itself from a PR-squashing reminder of its disastrous diesel emissions fiasco.

Serving as Audi AG’s CEO since 2010, Stadler’s June arrest on suspicion of interference in an ongoing German fraud investigation pushed an interim CEO into the top chair. It was the highest profile arrest thus far in the diesel emissions scandal. As investigators continue probing his potential involvement in the diesel fraud, the jailed Stadler also gives up his seat on VW’s management board, effective immediately. Read More >

By on October 1, 2018

Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley just can’t keep his hands off the Jeep brand. In his first management reorganization since assuming the top position in July, Manley placed the responsibility for key FCA brands in trustworthy hands, though the CEO seems reluctant to part ways with his beloved Jeep.

Prior to becoming CEO, Manley headed up both the Jeep and Ram divisions. Now, Tim Kuniskis will add the Jeep North America file to his responsibilities, maintaining his grip on the Alfa Romeo brand. Given that there was no mention in Manley’s letter to employees of who’ll oversee Jeep’s global operations, it is assumed the chief executive will continue nurturing FCA’s most valuable asset on the world stage. Read More >

By on September 26, 2018

Image: Daimler AG

Daimler AG and its Mercedes-Benz division won’t have Dieter Zetsche at the helm for much longer. The mustachioed, jeans-loving chief executive, who’s headed the automaker since 2000, leaves the position in May, the automaker announced Wednesday.

Dr. Z isn’t leaving the company — come May, the 65-year-old will accept the role of chairman of the group’s supervisory board. Occupying Zetsche’s former position as head of Daimler and the Mercedes-Benz brand will be the first non-German CEO in the company’s exceptionally long history. Read More >

By on September 20, 2018

As former treasurer of Ford Motor Company, Schloss probably doesn’t look at that dark period a decade ago with much fondness. It was a rough time, as he, Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth, and CEO Alan Mulally (among others) attempted to guide their ship through a swirling financial storm.

It’s far calmer waters now, and the 36-year Ford veteran now finds himself serving as CFO of the automaker’s mobility arm. And it will stay that way until the end of December, at which point the 59-year-old Schloss hands over his hat and starts the cushy life of a retired executive. Read More >

By on September 18, 2018

Image: JRE/YouTube

A Silicon Valley resident had a big day yesterday. After finally revealing the real, live, human being he plans to stuff on top of a rocket for a journey around the moon, this same resident also received notice of a lawsuit filed against him. Big, big day.

What’s amazing about Vernon Unsworth’s libel suit is how completely avoidable it was. However, as we’re dealing with the mind of Tesla CEO Elon Musk here, the suit — which accuses Musk of libel, assault, and slander — seemed from the outset to be unavoidable. This is a man who goaded the litigant to sue even after apologizing for calling a man he’s never met a “pedo” on Twitter. Musk then forgot all about the apologies and doubled down on the unsubstantiated claim, even as Unsworth secured legal representation.

And why? Unsworth helped rescue a Thai soccer team from a flooded cave but had the nerve to criticise Musk’s homemade submarine, which rescuers never employed in the cave extraction. It’s enough to make one believe that only a certain type of personality makes it big in Silicon Valley. Read More >

By on September 14, 2018

Image: Lotus Cars

In its quest to gain a loftier status among the sporty, well-to-do set, Lotus Cars spent the year poaching talent from other British automakers. China’s Geely, which holds a majority stake in the automaker, is expected to loosen the purse strings in pursuit of new models and a greater premium market share, but the human side of the operation needs to be in place before that occurs.

While former Bentley and Aston Martin execs have already hopped on board, the automaker now has a former top Jaguar Land Rover official in the big office, ready to put plans into action. He’s also no stranger to SUVs — a segment Lotus wants a piece of. Read More >

By on September 11, 2018

aston martin db4 gt

British luxury car maker Aston Martin is putting a contemporary face on its company ahead of an initial public offering planned for October. On Monday, the company appointed Penny Hughes to the position of chair — a symbolic act in a slow-to-evolve industry historically dominated by men.

Hughes arrives at Aston Martin with an impressive résumé. Formerly head of Coca-Cola’s UK and Ireland operations, the new chair also served on the boards of Royal Bank of Scotland and telecom giant Vodafone. As it prepares to make 25 percent of its shares public, the increasingly high-profile automaker wants an infusion of fresh blood while remaining tied by the firmest of bonds to its storied history. Read More >

By on September 8, 2018

Image: 01netTV/YouTube

Big Tesla news inevitable comes at odd times, usually at the very end of the week, and most often at night — at least here on the East Coast. And so it was that late Friday afternoon, following another bizarre week of Elon antics (and two high-profile departures), Tesla CEO Elon Musk upset the negative news cycle by announcing a shakeup of his company’s upper ranks, including the appointment of a president of automotive.

What does a president of automotive do? A hell of a lot, it seems. Besides overseeing all of the company’s automotive operations, newly promoted Tesla veteran Jerome Guillen must also keep the sometimes dodgy supply chain running smoothly. His other big role involves removing stress from Musk’s life. Read More >

By on August 13, 2018

Image: Audi AG

Rupert Stadler, whose reign as CEO of Audi came to an end after his June arrest, won’t walk out the front doors of his Bavarian jail anytime soon. A Munich court has rejected the former auto executive’s appeal for release.

The appeal came nearly a month ago, around the same time Stadler — suspected of fraud in the diesel emissions scandal — stopped talking to prosecutors. The reason for the court’s decision is the same reason why a judge remanded Stadler in custody back in June. Worries remain that he might tamper with evidence if freed.

Meanwhile, there’s change brewing at the top of Audi’s corporate hierarchy. Read More >

By on August 6, 2018

ford logo

Prakash Patel, Ford’s global director of program management and former lead planner for the sixth-generation Mustang, has left the company. Ford Motor Company confirmed Patel’s departure to Automotive News, but declined to discuss the circumstances surrounding his termination.

This makes Patel the second high-ranking exec to leave Ford under a dark cloud this year. In February, former Ford North America president Raj Nair departed the company after an internal investigation turned up instances of “inappropriate behavior” that was “inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct.” Read More >

By on August 2, 2018

Image: GM

Melody Lee, the former brand marketing director who joined General Motors’ luxury division in 2012 and later headed its “Book by Cadillac” subscription service, has resigned. Apparently, Lee isn’t jumping ship to another job just yet.

According to Cadillac Society, Lee posted to LinkedIn that she “doesn’t know what’s next,” but is “excited for it.” To any casual observer, that language reeks of being forced out; a GM spokesman claims Lee “has elected to resign from Cadillac to pursue other interests.” Read More >

By on July 30, 2018

Large money transfers initiated by former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn early last year have German investigators wondering if the executive may have believed a criminal charge was incoming.

Already indicted in the U.S. on fraud charges stemming from the company’s diesel emissions scandal, Winterkorn (seen above with Yoko Ono) remains under a cloud of suspicion in his homeland. Though he’s claimed no early knowledge of the diesel engine manipulation, the former top boss remains under scrutiny from methodical German prosecutors who recently arrested Audi CEO Rupert Stadler.

Recently, the probe’s focus turned to large sums of money leaving the country in the lead-up to the U.S. indictment. Read More >

By on July 27, 2018

marchionne, Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Former Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died Wednesday at the age of 66, underwent treatment for a serious, unspecified illness for more than a year, a Swiss hospital revealed Thursday.

The sudden change in the executive’s health threw Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari into a frenzied search for new CEOs on Saturday. It’s reported that Marchionne hadn’t informed either automaker of his condition, with their boards of directors only finding out from Marchionne’s family on Friday after his condition rapidly deteriorated. Read More >

By on July 23, 2018

Image: FCA

A man in the running to replace Sergio Marchionne after his planned 2019 retirement has left the company, just two days after Jeep and Ram boss Mike Manley took over the CEO position from a seriously ill Marchionne.

The departure of Alfredo Altavilla, who headed up Fiat Chrysler’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, leaves the unexpectedly promoted Manley with another file on his plate. Read More >

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