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Chrysler Group Board of Directors Is Now Filled

The nine-member board is light on auto experience.

by on Jul.05, 2009

Chrysler Headquarters, Auburn Hills, Michigan

The new board appointments have experience in finance, corporate restructurings and modifying or breaking union contracts in the airline industry.

In an unusual Sunday evening announcement, Chrysler Group LLC said tonight that with the appointment of five additional members to its Board of Directors, its new governance structure is now complete.

The nine-member Board will be responsible for the future profitability of the group, which is largely held by the United Auto Workers Union, and U.S. and Canadian taxpayers. Fiat has a 20% stake in the company, which is due to rise to a majority interest over time. 

Chrysler Group LLC, was formed in June 2009 from an “alliance” with the Fiat Group, and produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Mopar and Global Electric Motors (GEM) brand vehicles and products.   

The new board appointments have experience in finance, corporate restructurings and modifying or breaking union contracts in the airline industry.

They face an immediate sales problem. Even though Chrysler Group emerged from bankruptcy early last month, its June sales results continued the trend that ultimately forced the liquidation of the Old Chrysler. The ongoing shift of buyers away from trucks and truck-derived vehicles has left it on the wrong side of the supply curve.

Before the Chrysler bankruptcy filing in March, the company had an average of $5,566 of incentives in effect — roughly 20% to 25% of the wholesale cost of a vehicle — and sales declined almost 50% anyway.

Overall in June, Chrysler Group sales declined to 68,297 vehicles, a decrease of 42% compared with June 2008, while the market is down on average 37%. It was the largest decline among the major automakers. 

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“The formal creation of our Board of Directors is another important step toward building a viable Chrysler Group for the long term,” said C. Robert Kidder, acting Chairman of the Board, which is expected to hold its first meeting on July 29. “Our board members bring a wealth of talent and experience in areas such as transportation, finance and investing, energy and government. We will work together as a Board of Directors to support Chrysler Group’s success to the benefit of all stakeholders.”

(more…)

New Kidder On the Hemi-Head Block, as Chrysler Names C. Robert Kidder Chairman

Troubled maker the latest to reach outside automotive circles.

by on May.20, 2009

Following in Ford's footsteps, Chrysler will name an automotive outsider to replace Chairman Bob Nardelli.  C. Robert Cooper was former chief at Borden Chemicals and Duracell International.

Following in Ford's footsteps, Chrysler will name an automotive outsider to replace Chairman Bob Nardelli. C. Robert Kidder was former chief at Borden Chemicals and Duracell International.

Troubled Chrysler is set to become the latest Detroit maker to reach outside traditional automotive circles for its next senior executive. With Chairman Bob Nardelli set to step down, if or more likely when Chrysler emerges Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection next month, the carmaker plans to appoint C. Robert Kidder to replace him. 

Kidder, the former head of Borden Chemical and Duracell International, will take on a streamlined operation that will have the U.S. government, the United Autoworkers Union and Fiat SpA as its largest shareholders. But the structure proposed for Chrysler, post-bankruptcy, would give the controlling hand to Fiat, which will start with a 20% stake and, if all goes according to plan, rise to 35%, and then controlling interest longer-term. 

“With his broad expertise serving on numerous world-class boards and his accomplished business background, Bob will provide the leadership and strategic counsel that will help to create a strong global competitor moving forward,” Nardelli said about his successor, in a prepared release. 

Capping his four-decade career, Kidder currently serves as, among other things, lead director for the financial services company Morgan Stanley.

“I am confident that Chrysler will emerge from Chapter 11 a lean and powerful competitor, combining its own rich history of innovation with Fiat’s technology and expertise to invigorate the American car market and to challenge other car companies around the globe,” said Kidder. (more…)