• Dec 10, 2007
For as long as this young blog can remember, Jason Vines has been the official voice of Chrysler. Though he began at Chrysler back in 1983, Vines' professional career has seen him receive paychecks at both Nissan and Ford before returning to Chrysler in 2003 to become Vice President-Communications. Little did Vines know that he'd be on the front lines when this whole blog phenomenon hit the big time and the face of automotive journalism began to change. He's had to endure embargo breaks, late night confirmation calls and the unique personalities that exist within our cottage Web 2.0 industry for the past four years. At the end of December, however, Vines will have to deal with it no more as Chrysler has just announced his resignation, effective immediately. It appears as if his parting is on friendly terms, as Vines will stay on through the end of the month to help his replacement, Nancy Rae, formerly Senior Vice President-Human Resources, get settled. We, for one, will miss Vines, as he possessed a shrewdness in his craft that most mouthpieces lack, and proved up to the task of matching wits with us internet folk as we made his life more difficult time and again. There's no word on where Vines is headed next, but we'll try and find out if he's exiting the auto industry stage left or landing in another cubical across town somewhere.

Follow the jump to read Chrysler's official announcement of Vines' resignation.

[Source: Chrysler LLC]

PRESS RELEASE:

Jason H. Vines Resigns as Vice President-Communications at Chrysler LLC

Company Realigns Corporate Communications Department

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler LLC today announced that Jason H. Vines, its Vice President-Communications has elected to resign and, therefore, the company is announcing a realignment of its Corporate Communications Department.

"Now that Chrysler is an independent company again, we are taking every opportunity to realign functions in a more holistic manner that allows us to more effectively drive company strategy," said Bob Nardelli, Chairman and CEO. "As part of this realignment, the corporate communications function will now report to Nancy Rae, Senior Vice President-Human Resources."

Several executives in the corporate communications department will report directly to Rae. David Barnas, who has been in the corporate communications department for six years, will be responsible for internal and corporate communications, which includes dealing with the news media.

Vines' resignation is effective immediately, although he has agreed to remain at Chrysler through the end of December to assist in the transition. "Jason has served Chrysler well, and we are very grateful for his many contributions over the years," said Nardelli.

Vines began his career at Chrysler Corporation in 1983, serving first as an economics researcher in the Labor Relations Department and later through various assignments in Employee Communications and Public Relations. He left Chrysler in 1998 and became Vice President-Communications for Nissan North America. In February 2000, he was appointed Vice President-Communications for Ford Motor Company. He returned to Chrysler in 2003 as Vice President- Communications.

"This was a tough decision, considering the many talented, longtime friends I have throughout the company," Vines said. "I wish them all the best and will continue to root for them."

Mike Aberlich, who has served the company as Director, Corporate and Internal Communications, also announced last week that he has decided to retire at the end of this year. "We thank Mike for his dedication and contributions to the company," Nardelli added.

Chrysler LLC, headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Mopar brand vehicles and products. Total sales worldwide in 2006 were 2.7 million vehicles. Sales outside of North America were the highest in a decade with an increase of 15 percent over 2005. On the heels of the company's record product launch last year (Chrysler launched 10 all-new vehicles in 2006), the company extended that streak with eight all-new products in 2007. Its product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Commander and Dodge Charger. Chrysler is a unit of Cerberus Capital Management.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 4 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Vines was one of the last good guys left over there, damn shame to see him go.

      This latest "realigning of functions in a more holistic manner" is perplexing to say the least.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The official corporate statement made it sound as if Mr. Vine's resignation was a part of a corporate strategy and not his idea. That, I think, is because his resignation was a part of a corporate strategy and not his idea.
      It does seem to me that Chrysler is becoming a soulless collection of bean-counters, the automobile people are leaving headquarters like rats out of a burning barn.
        • 7 Years Ago
        This is probably the reason Vines is leaving: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_45/b4057001.htm

        Business Week ran an article in November about the new reality for corporate executives in companies held by private equity firms. The article title says it all: Perform or Perish. And it's not your assessment as to whether he did a good job or not. It's the internal metrics he has to live by that matter. And those broken media embargos in the past probably didn't help his case.