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Would You Pay This Man $252 Million




We know this much: as his parting “gift” from Home Depot, former CEO Bob Nardelli received a payout worth around $252 million. How much he’ll take home when he finishes up at Chrysler Corp. is uncertain, though most sources suggest that – logically – the payout for the new Chairman of troubled Chrysler LLC will depend on how good a job he does turning things around.

Along with co-Vice Chairmen Jim Press and Tom LaSorda, Nardelli has been traveling the country making the pitch that Chrysler is on the mend, a message he took to the Big Apple, Wednesday, for the opening speech of the 2008 New York Auto Show.

“We’re reinventing ourselves for success,” Nardelli declared, during a nearly 30-minute speech and question-and-answer session that left many members of the media wanting for more.

Nardelli repeated his oft-told tale that as a private company – a part of the private equity giant, Cerberus Capital Management – Chrysler can move quicker and more freely than when it had to respond to shareholders. But one group that Chrysler needs to be more responsive to is its customers, he acknowledged, making a passing reference to the hits Chrysler has taken, lately, for its quality.

“Our customer satisfaction isn’t where we would like it to be,” admitted Nardelli, adding that Chrysler has created a new position, Chief Customer Officer, to more directly connect with current and future buyers.

If there’s a good story to tell, Nardelli suggested it can be found outside the U.S., where Chrysler sales have risen for a consecutive 33 months, reaching 238,000 last year. The goal is to hit 400,000 by 2012.

Closer to home, Nardelli has taken a conservative view of the troubled U.S. market, which he expects to slip to just 15.5 million vehicles, in 2008. He acknowledged it is possible that the market might slip event lower – a new forecast by J.D. Power and Associates says volumes might plunge to just 14.9 million. By trimming production and eliminating weak product lines, Nardelli argued that Chrysler can handle even that worst-case scenario, while also having the potential to ramp up should the American market recover.

Following Nardelli’s speech, Vice Chairman Press offered some of his own thoughts on Chrysler’s recovery, noting the automaker plans to move deliberately and carefully as it re-fashions its product line-up. For Chrysler, the key is to be true to its own heritage and to do a better job of separating any overlapping products, Press said.

For example, Chrysler has two minivans – the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country – but that doesn't mean the company has to kill one off. Instead the objective is to emphasize the differences between the Dodge and the Chrysler vans. "We're going to have fewer platforms but put more money into differentiating the vehicles," Press said. "We don't have to be all things to all people."

"We don't have to try and out Toyota, Toyota," said Press, who spent 37 years with the Japanese automaker before joining Chrysler last September. However, Chrysler will also look at new product niches, particularly on the car side, Press. There is an opportunity, meanwhile, to move upscale now that Chrysler is no longer married to Daimler and Mercedes-Benz. With Joe Szczesny
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Comments (13)
  1. No
     
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  2. Ridiculous.

    That's what happens when the CEO APPOINTS his own compensation board of YES_MEN brownnoses that give him or her the utterly undeserved $252 mill while his or her company goes down the tubes.

    Can you spell "conflict of interest"?

    And, Moron warning: Don't tell me to go live in Cuba or Commie CHina. I am for CAPITALISM and FREE TRADE and GLOBALIZATION far more than you will EVER BE, those of you that find the Bear Stearns bailout with considerable Government arm-twisting OK.
     
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  3. Well he's not getting $252 mil for running Chrysler, he got it for HomeDepot, to be fair he did a lot for that company. But Nardelli may have met his match with Chrysler. Honestly, can't we all just expect this sort of thing from Chrysler. Hasn't it been this way for decades? They were in the crapper before Iacocca got the government to make loans to bail them out, then the company was riding high. Then Chrysler started to slip....again. Then they became industry benchmarks for design, and what do you know Chrysler started to rise again. Guess what....they're at the bottom again. Does this really take anyone by suprise?

    Nardelli does have it right, they need to trim the product line.

    "Welcome to XYZ Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep, would you like the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass or Patriot, they're all the same vehicle, all equally crappy, and have horrible interiors that are the same...."
     
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  4. Where can I get paid $252 for screwing up a company? I think it was a public relations nightmare for Chrysler to appoint Nardelli as CEO after he "screwed-up" Home Depot. Why didn't they appoint a truly gifted "car guy" as CEO. That might have reassured customers and persuaded others to buy a Chrylser product. I am not impressed with the "good ol boy" approach of Cerebus. Why should I buy a Chrysler?
     
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  5. What was Cerebus thinking? You know Nardelli must be getting a huge paycheck for taking this gig, otherwise it wouldn't be worth it to someone who has a quarter billion in the bank. (The interest/dividends on his nest egg are probably netting him 5-10 mill per year.)

    I have a theory that the rise of mutual funds has fostered the growth of exorbiant executive paychecks. The guys that run the mutual funds put eachother on the boards of major companies then hand out fat salaries and bonuses. The good-old-boys' network is alive and kicken and funded by the small time investor.
     
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  6. Huge Bonuses and wages must be a missreading and missuse of basic "Adam Smith" capitalism. Religon allways seems to be used for the wrong resons. It would seem that Capitalism is also illused also.
     
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  7. I don't mind a billion $ bonus if the bum delivers a trillion $ profit to the owners and his masters, the SHAREHOLDERS.

    The problem is they get quarter billion bonuses and golden parachutes EVEN if they totally SCREW UP, such as these two bigshot bankers recently!
     
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  8. He shafted Home Depot royally and got a quarter BILLION dollars for it....he'll do it again to Chrysler.
     
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  9. Well, what do you expect from Cerberus? Remember this company is owned and run by Dan Quayle (MR Patato(e)), and John Snow. John did such a fantastic job setting up the G.W. Bush economy that we are all enjoying, and Quayle... well what can you say about him.
     
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  10. Nardelli is probably a democrat. Like Gore, he didn't get the big chair that Welch left. So, Bob is spending his time masquerading as an important "leader' and making millions/billions. Get rid of this bum, and let Press/LaSorda and ? (Waggoner clone) run Chrysler. I think those guys will do their part, then Nardelli will steal the thunder? He must have a HUGE ego, cuz he don't need the cash!

    Only time will tell!
     
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  11. SIPHON!{Money-that is}
    Comes TO MIND!
    FULL AND TOTAL DEMISE OF CHRYSLER SOUNDS AS IF THIS IS THE REAL PLAN!
     
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  12. TWO HUNDRED FIFTY MILLIONS! HOME DEPOT is in trouble?
    Now what will happen with CHRYSLER after he collects before he can deliver?When you hire a CEO in building supplies to rescue a car company,you have A MAJOR problem coming to you.I spent 42 years in the car business and would never think of opening a restaurant!
     
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  13. He should have to prove himself worthly of such payment layoff the workers doesn't count like they do at Sprint worst ran co. ever
     
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