By on March 26, 2020

Mitsubishi Motors

One day, perhaps even one day this year ( …or next!), Mitsubishi will have a new model to show off to Americans, and when that time comes there’ll be a new top boss performing the unveiling.

Fred Diaz is out as CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, the automaker announced Thursday, replaced by someone who knows the job fairly well. He’s had it before. (Read More…)

By on March 4, 2020

FCA

Reid Bigland, the towering Fiat Chrysler exec who made waves by suing his employer last year, has announced he’s leaving the company after 22 years of service. His last day will be April 3rd.

Head of U.S. sales, the Ram brand, and president and CEO of FCA Canada, Bigland was once seen as a potential replacement for late CEO Sergio Marchionne, but a spat with his employer tainted the longstanding relationship. That lawsuit apparently came to a head earlier this year. (Read More…)

By on February 10, 2020

Last Friday’s shakeup in the uppermost ranks of Ford Motor Company came as a surprise, with many employees and observers claiming that the automaker’s former president of automotive, Joe Hinrichs, took the fall for the company’s recent failings.

After announcing Hinrichs’ unexpected retirement and elevating Jim Farley, head of new businesses and autonomy, to chief operating officer (effective March 1st), CEO Jim Hackett responded to the decision in a media scrum. At the same time, Hinrichs was delivering a letter to Ford employees. (Read More…)

By on February 7, 2020

ford

Joe Hinrichs, a top Ford executive tasked with overseeing the company’s global businesses, manufacturing, and product development — and once seen as a potential successor to CEO Jim Hackett — is retiring from the automaker.

The news comes just days after a dismal fourth-quarter earnings report revealed a profit loss of nearly 99 percent in 2019 and a Q4 hit of more than $1.6 billion — with much of the financial damage stemming from the botched launch of the next-generation Explorer. (Read More…)

By on November 7, 2019

The cutting edge of new technology will be guided by new hands at Ford. On Thursday, the automaker announced changes to its executive lineup, including the departure of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC head Sherif Marakby and his replacement by vice president of strategy John Lawler.

Ford didn’t elaborate much on Marakby’s absence, stating that the exec, who formerly headed up Uber’s global vehicles programs, “has elected to take a personal leave from the company.” (Read More…)

By on October 31, 2019

Image: GM

A number of General Motors executives will have to update their CVs come November 1st. As it moves to position its increasingly streamlined business for hard-fought future growth, the automaker has provided President Mark Reuss with a number of new hats.

Doug Parks, head of GM’s autonomous and electric vehicle programs since 2016, will soon find himself in charge of global product development. (Read More…)

By on September 6, 2019

General Motors Renaissance Center

General Motors is moving Cadillac marketing chief Deborah Wahl up the food chain by appointing her as its global chief marketing officer — a position which has sat unfilled since 2012.

The previous CMO, Joel Ewanick, was removed by former CEO Dan Akerson over a costly Chevrolet-Manchester United sponsorship deal blew up in his face. Officially, General Motors said Ewanick “failed to meet the expectations the company has of an employee” and left the position vacant, distributing its duties among other other employees — primarily Chevrolet’s now-retired CMO Tim Mahoney.

Wahl, 56, joined Cadillac in 2018, helping the brand further distance itself from the botched “Dare Greatly” advertising campaign. However, we’re not yet certain its freshened marketing materials are truly a cut from a different cloth. Several of the new spots carry over the same vague messaging, just with a bit more focus on product. Then again, perhaps the highbrow content is simply going over our heads.  (Read More…)

By on April 10, 2019

ford logo

Ford Motor Company veteran Marcy Klevorn is set to retire come October, leaving her position as head of mobility in need of filling. No need for new blood in Ford’s C-suite, however, as there’s apparently room on Jim Farley’s plate.

Farley, Ford’s head of global markets, will add a new hat to his wardrobe even before Klevorn, 59, leaves the Glass House. Klevorn, whose tenure at Ford spans 36 years, will move to a (brief) new role after Farley dons the title of president of businesses, technology and strategy. There’s new responsibilities and a new title for global operations head Joe Hinrichs, too. (Read More…)

By on March 13, 2019

Image: Mazda

Masahiro Moro, president and CEO of Mazda’s crucial North American business, clearly has the full confidence of company boss Akira Marumoto. In an executive shuffle announced Wednesday, Moro (seen above, on the left) retains his chief executive title and adds chairman of Mazda North American Operations to his CV, bringing Canada and Mexico under his purview.

At the same time, Jeff Guyton, CEO of Mazda Motor Europe for the past decade, was named president of Mazda North American Operations. The changes, effective April 1st, come as Mazda prepares to boost its North American volume with the addition of two strategically positioned crossovers. (Read More…)

By on February 28, 2019

Image: GM

A familiar face in General Motors’ executive ranks is heading into retirement, the company has announced. Alan S. Batey, president of GM’s North American operations, plans to retire effective April 1st — four decades after joining the automaker.

Stepping into Batey’s shoes, albeit with a different title, is GM International President Barry Engle, a relative newcomer to the company. (Read More…)

By on January 24, 2019

After an unceremonious booting from the chairman role at Nissan and Mitsubishi, Carlos Ghosn’s departure from alliance member Renault was more orderly. As expected, the French automaker’s board accepted the jailed executive’s resignation Thursday, handing over the CEO and chairman roles to Thierry Bolloré and Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard, respectively.

After building an alliance marrying two major automakers, saving Renault and bolstering Nissan in the process, Ghosn had to leave to save the relationship. There really wasn’t much choice. Tokyo judges kiboshed several attempts to secure bail for the industry titan, who currently resides in a sparse jail cell awaiting trial. The French government, which holds a 15 percent stake in Renault, withdrew its support for the exec last week.

The alliance is Senard’s baby now. (Read More…)

By on December 7, 2018

Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley, thrust unexpectedly into the leader’s chair following Sergio Marchionne’s death in early July, has called on a former Amazon executive to serve as chief operating officer.

The automaker announced Thursday that Mark Stewart, 51, ex Vice President of Operations for the online commerce giant, will take on the role of COO of the critically important North American region, removing that job from Manley’s plate. Like his predecessor, Manley wore more than one hat. Now, it’s up to Stewart to ensure that profits continue climbing in the land of Rams and Jeeps. (Read More…)

By on April 19, 2018

Johan De Nysschen Cadillac CT6, Image: Cadillac

Controversial decisions that ruffled the feathers of dealers and brand faithful alike defined the Johan de Nysschen era at Cadillac. Project Pinnacle left the brand’s dealers in revolt, forcing changes and delays in the streamlining, brand-boosting strategy. Meanwhile, many still feel Cadillac is not a marque for Manhattan — the brand’s new home — and that a keeping-up-with-the-Germans product strategy takes the division too far away from its heritage. GM executives may not share those sentiments.

For de Nysschen, the decision to place GM Canada head Steve Carlisle in charge of Cadillac is purely a business decision. He admits he didn’t fulfill the requirements laid out by his superiors. (Read More…)

By on March 22, 2018

Ford badge emblem logo

There’s two departures occuring at Ford Motor Company for anyone thinking of advancing their career. The automaker announced late Wednesday that Musa Tariq, vice president of the company and Ford’s chief brand officer, is leaving the automaker, effective this week. Joining him is Raj Rao, CEO of Ford Smart Mobility, who takes his leave on the 1st of May.

The mobility division was created in 2016 by former Ford CEO Mark Fields, with Rao serving as its CEO. The subsidiary’s chairman, Jim Hackett, now has a pretty good idea of what Fields’ job entailed. Tariq joined the company in January 2017.

No reason was given for either of the two departures, but the personnel loss leaves Ford with some very important roles to fill. (Read More…)

By on March 2, 2018

2018 Subaru Crosstrek - Image: Subaru

After serving as head honcho of a brand that’s enjoyed 10 consecutive years of sales increases in the United States, Subaru of America CEO Tomomi Nakamura is headed to Japan to work the same kind of magic on the automaker’s global business.

On Friday, Nakauma was tapped as the next president of Subaru Corporation, the multi-armed conglomerate once known as Fuji Heavy Industries. He’s served in that role since 2014. In his place, Subaru of America president Tom Doll takes the biggest office at Subaru of America HQ, making him the first American to hold the position since Subaru took over the U.S. division in the waning days of disco.

It’s now Doll’s responsibility to see that Subaru’s hot streak continues, even in this era of cooling demand and technological disruption.  (Read More…)

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