Report: Jim Press Leaving Chrysler Deputy CEO Position

August 21, 2009

It's not uncommon for a new buyer to clean house of the old executive staff when a company changes hands. That's more or less what happened at Chrysler once it emerged from bankruptcy and went under Fiat's wing. But one lone senior executive, former vice-chairman and president Jim Press, remained on as Deputy CEO.

His post was primarily to assist and advise Fiat CEO and new Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne in the takeover of Chrysler's operations. Now that that job is nearly done, however, it looks like Press is getting ready to move on.

There has been no official announcement from either Press or Chrysler, but several outlets are reporting the news based on inside sources.

During his brief tenure at Chrysler, Press oversaw work on rebuiding the already-struggling Chrysler brand portfolio. The plan was to leverage his 37-year career at Toyota to help re-shape Chrysler's product and image into something more commercially successful.

Unfortunately for Press, and for Chrysler, he came along too late. The company was already weak and the economic troubles of 2008 served to cripple the company's efforts at recovery.

Now 62, it's not yet known what Press's next project might be, though with his entire career invested in the automotive industry, it'll likely have something to do with cars.

[The Wall Street Journal]

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