Tag: Executives

By on April 1, 2020

ford

It would be great if pandemics arrived with clear time frames in tow. Alas, this is not the way nature works. And for companies dependent on workers, um, working, the unpredictability of a viral outbreak means every cost-saving measure is on the table.

At Ford, which has already announced a hiring freeze and executive pay cuts, existing efforts might not be enough to stabilize its balance sheet. (Read More…)

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 26, 2020

Addressing a crowd at the Wolfe Research Global Auto, Auto Tech and Mobility Conference in New York City on Tuesday, Jim Farley said he sees similarities between Ford’s present situation and that of the 2009 financial crisis that nearly sunk the Detroit Three. He feels it in the hallways of Ford’s Dearborn HQ.

As automakers grapple with a number of challenges in a rapidly changing industry, Farley, who takes on the role of Ford’s chief operating officer March 1st, outlined how he plans to deliver his mandate of a global pre-tax margin of 8 percent. For starters, there’s the issue of launches. (Read More…)

By on February 25, 2020

A rocky past year hasn’t dislodged Jim Hackett from his lofty perch in the Glass House, nor does the CEO feel he’s destined for the door. This assertion comes after a dismal earnings report born of recalls, a botched product launch, and ongoing streamlining efforts, the latter of which hasn’t given Ford’s stock the bounce many had hoped for.

Why does Hackett feel so confident? Friendship. (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 January 20, 2020

nissan

Japanese executives traditionally take company failings very personally, often performing penance in the wake of scandals and downturns. In the case of fresh-on-the-job Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida, his punishment for the automaker’s dismal financial situation and tumbling sales was an earful from a group of angry U.S. dealers.

The dealers let Uchida have it during a recent meeting at Nissan’s U.S. headquarters — the first such meeting since Uchida’s elevation to CEO late last year. It’s not like he didn’t ask for it. (Read More…)

By on December 26, 2019

As a terrible year draws to a close, Nissan can’t seem to put its bad luck behind it. In a case of “the hits keep on coming”, the automaker’s vice chief operating officer, Jun Seki, announced his departure from the company less than a month after taking on the position.

Seki, once a candidate for the CEO chair, was tasked with helping turn around the struggling company in the wake of the Carlos Ghosn scandal and concurrent sales plunge. At the same time, an American dealer group is suing Nissan over alleged Ghosn-era financial misdealings.

A merry Christmas it was not. (Read More…)

By on November 15, 2019

Image: Audi

Eleven months after making interim CEO Bram Schot a permanent fixture in the big chair, Audi AG’s board has found someone else to lead the luxury brand.

Markus Duesmann, a mechanical engineer who served as BMW’s board member in charge of purchasing until his contract ran out in September, will take over from Schot on April 1st, 2020. Schot has apparently decided to leave Volkswagen Group at the end of March “by best mutual agreement.” He got the job after his predecessor, Rupert Stadler, was arrested for suspected involvement in the company’s diesel emissions scandal. (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 November 5, 2019

FCA

Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Fiat Chrysler and chief of the mighty Ram brand, has withdrawn a lawsuit against his employer in the hopes of gaining whistleblower protection.

The top FCA executive filed the suit in June after the automaker allegedly made him take the financial fall for dodgy sales practices that preceded his tenure. Bigland, who was on the short list of possible successors for late CEO Sergio Marchionne, claimed FCA withheld bonuses and severely cut his pay — payback for a federal probe that forced the company to revise its sales history.

The lawsuit will be back on come December. (Read More…)

By on October 9, 2019

2016 Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X Grille, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Early reports out of Japan Tuesday indicated Nissan’s replacement for former CEO Hiroto Saikawa had been found, and the company’s board soon confirmed it. First reported by Nikkei, the automaker’s board has tapped Senior Vice President Makoto Uchida to sit in the big chair.

Uchida, 53, took on his current role in 2018; he also heads China’s Dongfeng Motor Company — a 50-50 joint venture between the two automakers. The executive joined Nissan back in 2003.

Uchida has no shortage of issues he’ll have to grapple with. (Read More…)

By on September 26, 2019

Johan De Nysschen Cadillac CT6, Image: Cadillac

A year and change after his ouster as president of the Cadillac brand, Johan de Nysschen has returned to a familiar place: Volkswagen of America, where, many moons ago, the executive sat on the automaker’s board while serving as Audi’s U.S. boss.

This homecoming sees de Nysschen take on the role of chief operating officer for the VW brand’s recently-created North American region. However, it will probably not, as one TTAC writer opined in a chatroom discussion, lead to the renaming of the Jetta GLI as the Q220. (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2019

Ask Japanese media about Hiroto Saikawa’s status at Nissan and they’ll tell you he already has one and a half feet out the door. Following a report Sunday in Japan’s Nikkei, in which Saikawa allegedly told company executives of his plan to resign, the boss man himself admitted it’s true.

Speaking to the media, Saikawa, who was forced into contrition last week over revelations of excess compensation from an equity-linked remuneration scheme, said he wants to head out ASAP. His replacement will already be aware of the great challenges ahead. (Read More…)

By on August 15, 2019

Image: VW

One hopes, anyway. While marketing won’t save you from a roadside breakdown (it might, in a roundabout way, get you into that situation), it nonetheless exists on the periphery of the automotive realm, subtly impacting sales. If a campaign is successful, the impact might be more than subtle. If it’s bad, the automaker is suddenly open to jokes and criticism.

Then the PR types in the comms department go to work.

One company that’s seen plenty of action in both departments in the recent past is Volkswagen. If you’re unfamiliar with this obscure German brand, you may remember it as the company selling “clean diesel” cars with fantastic fuel economy a number of years back. With that scandal now fading in the rear-view, the effort to rebrand the company as a receptive steward of the earth is well underway. And the man who’ll lead that charge in America is Saad Chehab, former communications dude for Kia Motors America. (Read More…)

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