• Dec 27, 2008
A little over a year ago, Chrysler was poaching and hiring folks with big brains to be a part of its executive turnaround team. Now a few of those hires, along with the old guard, are walking out the front door. Deborah Meyer came over from Toyota, where she had been VP of marketing for Lexus, and she took over the chief marketing officer spot at the Chrysler, LLC. At the time we wrote, "She must have been aware of the situation when she accepted the offer, however, so perhaps she sees hope in Chrysler's new beginning." Apparently, hope ran out, and Meyer has vacated her post effective immediately.
Phil Murtaugh ran General Motors' gangbuster operations in China, left the company, and then was picked up by Chrysler a few months later. He fulfilled the same role at Chrysler, yet with the Chery/Dodge Hornet as the most public example, he couldn't engineer the same success. He has called "Time!" at Chrysler, and leaves at the end of this month. Meyer and Murtaugh's departures this month follow those of Chrysler's global purchasing head and its global service and parts head. Thanks for the tip, Derek!

[Source: Auto News, Sub Req.]


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  • 13 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm surprised they stuck around this long
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh but the consummate politician, Frank Klegon (the Klingon), remains to drive them further down
      • 6 Years Ago
      The rats are usually the first to leave a sinking ship. The real question is did they get a silent payoff to leave because let's face it no automaker is hiring with bonuses let alone doing any major hiring.

        • 6 Years Ago
        These days execs either get the big payoff before even taking the job or a huge golden parachute when they leave. Either way they end up rolling in dough so whether the company sinks or swims really makes no difference to them. It's just another j-o-b.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Old news now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great cars like Lexus sell themselves. Being a marketing chief at Lexus is not exactly a proved reputation.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Lots of good posts here especially from the dealers. First of all, I just took an early retirement from Chrysler (Technical Advisor) time to bail when I could just like Meyer. However, I was NEVER EVER impressed with her. Her 1st efforts with advertising left me and my dealers with "I don't get it". She was useless in my opinion.. so no big loss. Second, I completely agree with the MBA statements and the lack of passion from the reps. I have "one of those pieces of papers" but never thought that meant anything other than I accomplished something I wanted (Masters degree). However, I got my Masters 11 years after I got my undergraduate degree AND when I was working full time. It had more real world meaning. Now... when I 1st got to Chrysler with "that piece of paper put away and forgotten" I told every one of my dealers that "I don't know sh*t about this industry and I'm asking you to teach me". I knew my education was going to come from my dealers and not the corporation. I had the philosophy that "if the dealers succeed we succeed". I was always a dealer advocate ahead of everything else. Yes I had to push BS programs and try to slam cars down the throat (when I did Sales for awhile) but I NEVER shipped a vehicle or a parts without permission. Something I saw happen all the time. All of the new DM's that I mentored and taught were emphasized that NEVER EVER BS a dealer and don't be afraid to say I don't know but I'll find out. The ones who thought that because they work for Chrysler meant they were the "boss" or had all of the answers didn't last very long. I never did that and never would. I have to tell you, I left with a great deal of respect and admiration from all the dealers I worked with. They were more than my dealers they were my friends. So many said that I was the only rep they could count on getting a problem resolved even it was not in my job description.
      Now, we had 5200 really good people either retire or take voluntary termination. The talent that was lost is irreplaceable. The dealers are NOT a consideration in this reduction. There was not the slightest concern about the dealers and taking care of them other than they were a means to an end by pushing cars and programs to get revenue. I talk to the reps that are left after the Dec 1 2008 exodus and they are miserable. I talk to my old friends (Dealers) and they say no one is available to help or even know what to do TO help. I see upper management making BONEHEAD moves that show that they are unable to change. Unfortunately most of the senior managers are cut from the same cloth that "the harder you whip the harder they will work". Losing folks like Deb Myers is a blessing because they just don't have the passion.

      Okay..I'm done rambling but I have a passion for this industry and I have a passion for the dealers. I just wish the upper management had it as well.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mark,

        a fantastic post!! I was fortunate enough to have several reps just like you, and we got along great. if there is something I don't know, I'm the first one to say it, and I greatly admire that quality in another person as well. I went from owning a detail business to being a dealer prinicpal. I was fortunate enough to have surrounded myself with the best possible talent, and I learned everything from them. I took the dealership (with their mentorship) from selling 10 cars a month to over 100 in two years.

        it gets pretty frustrating here to have to deal with all the uniformed idiots who don't have the slightest understanding of the car business. I always have to laugh when they glowingly speak of their beloved Japanese cars; if they only knew what hell and politics their dealers go thru, they wouldn't look at their American counterpasrt with such disdain. the dealers that sell Japanese cars here in the US have far more hoops to jump thru than their domestic counterparts. you mentioned never sending something that wasn't requested; if you worked for Toyota, Nissan, or Honda, you'd be out on the street.

        my first experience with the vindictiveness of Japanese manufacturers occured to a Toyota dealer in Valencia, California, in 1985. Toyota wanted some immediate upgrades to the facility here, and the dealer at the time couldn't afford it.

        Toyota immediately begin to retaliate. inventory poured in, but all of it was awful. at one point, they had over 400 model 8200 pickups. these were the absolute cheapest trucks available, with bias ply tires, single wall beds, and no radios, no power steering, no air conditioning. most dealers sold these as "Saturday morning loss leaders". there weren't enough Saturdays in a year to move all of these. this dealer also had the largest stock of diesel Camrys and Corollas in the nation, although not a single one was requested from Toyota. the owner soon sold the dealership. this type of thing still goes on today, and is even worse now.

        I always have to laugh at all the negative comments concerning Chrysler's dubious "sales bank". critics constantly trash it, but in all their ignorance fail to realize that this is how imports (and transplants) manufacture automobiles.

        the import/transplant factory starts building vehicles; there is absolutely NO input from dealers. they fill the storage lots. now, the zone reps get on the phone, and TELL the dealers what they will be receiving. about the only say so the dealer MIGHT have is how many, red, whites, or blues they will be receiving. of course, if the dealer isn't on good terms with the rep, or has refused to take all of their allocation, see two paragraphs above. of course, this method is "efficient", and the conventional method of ordering your own inventory for your own unique market area is "archaic and inefficent". uh-huh.

        the errant import dealers will now be receiving a few hundred package #5 Prius ($30K MSRP), or perhaps 100 regular cab Tundras with the small V-8, $995 TRD dual exhaust system, carpeted floor mats with rubber floors underneath, an auto dimming mirror, and stainless door sill plates. sun belt states will receive 4WDs; snow belt states, 2WD. and stop laughing; I saw 50 of the trucks I described at a dealer here in the Phoenix area. as fitting for our desert climate, they were all black. I'm sure the 2WD white ones went to a "bad" dealer Minnesota.

        there is no question that the fate of any manufacturer lies with the dealers, and their ability to sell what the factory produces. it never ceases to amaze me how this very simple and important point escapes so many of the "expert" posters here.

        I had a lot of faith in Jim Press, as he was held in very high regard with dealers for his fairness and ability to listen when he was still with Toyota.

        perhaps Chrysler can move Nardelli out of the way, and get Jim into the trenches. I'm still hoping for Lee Iacocca's appointment as "car czar".

        again, thanks for your post. it's always great to know there are a few other folks out there who have been in the business, and "get it".

        AZMike
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