Tag: Executives

By on June 6, 2019

FCA

There’s drama in Auburn Hills tonight. And, by the sounds of it, for many days leading up to this point. Reid Bigland, Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. sales boss and the appropriately imposing head of the cash-cow Ram brand, has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against his employer.

Bigland, who joined Chrysler in 2006 and soon found himself heading up Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and Dodge, plus serving as CEO of FCA Canada (a role he maintains), claims the company’s HQ is awash in bad blood. The exec says he’s being punished for not taking the fall in a federal investigation into FCA’s sales reporting. (Read More…)

By on May 28, 2019

2019 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross front quarter

The man who once helped outfit Mitsubishi’s lone American assembly plant will soon head the company he joined back in 1984. He also wonders what can be done about the brand’s existence in the United States.

Takao Kato, 57, steps into the shoes of outgoing CEO Osamu Masuko on June 21st — a move that comes as the automaker’s membership in the Renault-Nissan Alliance faces uncertainty in light of merger overtures from Fiat Chrysler. In a news conference held before the merger news, Kato mused about the company’s limited presence in North America, promising changes ahead. (Read More…)

By on May 23, 2019

2019 INFINITI QX50

Amid a tumultuous time for Nissan and its luxury division, Infiniti, company CEO Hiroto Saikawa is counting on its crucial U.S. business to turn things around. After seeing its global profit fall 45 percent last year, Saikawa declared earlier this month that the company had hit “rock bottom.”

Further profit and operating margin declines are forecasted for 2019.

Executive shuffling has become the norm as the automaker attempts to stem sales losses in the United States. Lofty volume targets of yesteryear have given way to an approach focused on long-term stability. Still, a turnaround won’t happen overnight.

One man Saikawa is counting on is Infiniti’s new sales boss, Bob Welby, who takes over the position June 1st. (Read More…)

By on May 17, 2019

Image: Nissan

After seeing its fortunes switch from dire to promising over the past few years, Mitsubishi Motors will gain a new chief operating officer on June 21. On Friday, the automaker announced that Osamu Masuko plans to step down as CEO, five years after taking on the job.

Under Masuko’s watch, the automaker rekindled its North American business and entered the Renault-Nissan Alliance, ensuring cost-effective technology and platform sharing in the years ahead. (Read More…)

By on April 18, 2019

Image: Hyundai

José Muñoz, who resigned as Nissan’s chief performance officer in January, is now on the Hyundai payroll. Muñoz jumped ship as turmoil roiled Nissan’s upper ranks and investigations began in the wake of former chairman Carlos Ghosn’s arrest.

The exec, seen as a close ally to Ghosn, previously served as chairman of the automaker’s North American business — a region he’s returning to, albeit with another automaker. (Read More…)

By on February 15, 2019

Ford badge emblem logo

The chief money man at the Blue Oval plans to hang up his Excel spreadsheets by the end of this year, according to sources in the know. He’s expected to stay on until a new top beancounter is broken in.

Why should you care? Because the Glass House is in the throes of a major product overhaul and under constant scrutiny from Wall Street, that’s why. Any shakeup in the corner offices is bound to have an effect on both activities, especially when recent earnings have been disappointing.

(Read More…)

By on January 31, 2019

Tesla’s stock price took a tumble after CEO Elon Musk announced, at the end of a Thursday night earnings call, that Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja was heading into retirement.

Ahuja joined Tesla in 2008, 15 years after first joining Ford and becoming CFO of its AutoAlliance joint venture with Mazda. He then served in an identical role for Ford’s southern Africa region. At Tesla, Ahuja returned to the CFO role after a two-year retirement hiatus from 2015 to 2017.

Ahuja’s successor doesn’t have quite as lengthy a CV to draw from. Twenty-two years younger than his predecessor and just six years out of business school, Zach Kirkhorn’s rise to the CFO spot has some analysts rattled. (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 May 23, 2018

tesla factory fremont, Image: Tesla Motors

As Tesla’s upper ranks shed members like a bad tennis club, a new executive is poised to tackle the automaker’s engineering portfolio.

Stuart Bowers, formerly the vice president of monetization engineering for social media platform Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, will soon don the title of VP of engineering at Tesla. That’s good news for Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who recently lost — perhaps temporarily — his senior VP of engineering. (Read More…)

By on May 18, 2018

[Image: Ford]

Raj Nair, former executive vice-president of Ford Motor Company and head of its North American region, has joined the company that built his car.

Nair took delivery of a Ford GT — a vehicle he helped develop during his time as product development boss and chief technical officer — shortly before his sudden and murky February exit from the company. Well, he’s now president and CEO of Multimatic Motorsports, Canadian builder of the GT. (Read More…)

By on October 24, 2017

ford logo

Ford is restructuring its upper management for the second time since former CEO Mark Fields took permanent leave of the company. Now in the top executive slot, Jim Hackett wants to continue tweaking staff in order to “improve efficiencies” and reshape the automaker in an image more appetizing to investors and potential buyers.

Hackett’s initial culling served to streamline the corporate hierarchy into something more manageable. The more recent shakeup, announced Tuesday, appears to be more of the same — leaving some with additional duties as Ford attempts to realign its global strategy. (Read More…)

By on October 17, 2017

nissan emblem badge logo

Nissan has a new senior vice president in charge of U.S. sales and marketing. Dan Mohnke, the company’s former vice president of strategy and digital acceleration, was promoted to the role previously held by Christian Meunier.

Heading to Infiniti, Meunier will serve as the brand’s vice president for global marketing and sales operations. The position was created exclusively to help the brand’s expansion into new markets. Meunier will report directly to Roland Krueger, president of Infiniti Motor Company and senior vice president of Nissan’s global division. Meanwhile, Mohnke will report to José Muñoz, chief performance officer for Nissan Motor Co.  (Read More…)

By on August 31, 2017

Stephan Winkelmann Audi RS5 - Image: AudiAccording to a report in Autocar, the rise through Volkswagen Group ranks accomplished by Audi Sport CEO Stephan Winkelmann will continue in 2018.

Formerly a Fiat employee, the 52-year-old Winkelmann became famous in the auto industry during his decade-long run as president and CEO of Lamborghini. Winkelmann then took over at Audi’s Quattro performance division in March 2016 before changing its name to Audi Sport. But the Rome native’s tenure at Audi Sport will reportedly be cut short by Volkswagen Group’s need to fill the lead position at its flagship brand, Bugatti.

If Autocar’s sources are right, look for Winkelmann to take over at Bentley in 2019, as well. Makes you wonder: Winkelmann has climbed from Fiat to Lamborghini to Audi Sport to Bugatti and Bentley. What’s next? (Read More…)

By on July 20, 2017

BMW Ian Roberts - Image: BMWAfter a near decade-long run at the helm of BMW Group’s sales and marketing department, Ian Robertson is retiring.

Taking over from the Englishman Robertson will be Pieter Nota, a Netherlands native who is anything but representative of the BMW establishment, every inch not automotive industry insider. Nota comes from Royal Philips, where you buy your electric razors, and formerly worked at Beiersdorf (where you buy your Nivea moisturizer) and Unilever, which fills your grocery store shelves with Axe, Hellmann’s, Ben & Jerry’s, and Dove.

I can’t believe it’s not butter a board member. (Read More…)

By on July 7, 2017

VW of America Werner Eichhorn - Image: VolkswagenOne month ago, former Hyundai Motor America sales vice president Derrick Hatami departed Hyundai and ended up in a similar role at Volkswagen of America: executive vice president for sales and marketing.

Hatami moved into his new office on June 12, 2017. Less than two months from now, and two years after Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal erupted in September 2015, Hatami’s new boss will move into his new office. Imported from Skoda, Werner Eichhorn moves to Volkswagen’s North American region as the chief sales and marketing officer.

Together with Hinrich Woebcken, who became CEO of Volkswagen in North America in April 2016, seven months after #dieselgate broke, Hatami and Werner Eichhorn form the nucleus of an all-new sales team at Volkswagen of America.

And not a moment too soon. (Read More…)

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