• May 20, 2009
Once Chrysler emerges from bankruptcy, the automaker's current CEO Robert Nardelli, be replaced by an appointee selected by the oversight committee (likey Sergio Marchionne) and C. Robert Kidder will become the new Chairman of the (supposedly) revitalized Chrysler.

Chrysler outlines Kidder's extensive history in their release (posted below the fold), including stints as the CEO of Borden Chemical Inc. and Duracell International, along with serving as the lead director on Morgan Stanley's board. Although Kidder holds an M.S. in Industrial Economics from Iowa State University and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan, his only contact with the automotive industry that we can glean from the release is his work "with a major OEM client." So his car-cred is in question and that leaves us wondering what kind of Chairman Kidder will be for a company desperately in need of compelling and competitive products. Expect more information about Kidder to be forthcoming.

PRESS RELEASE

C. Robert Kidder to Become Chairman of Chrysler Group LLC

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler LLC today announced that C. Robert Kidder, former Chairman of Borden Chemical Inc. and of Duracell International Inc., will become Chairman of Chrysler Group LLC, once it completes its acquisition of the operating assets of Chrysler LLC and completes a global alliance with Fiat SpA. He will succeed Robert L. Nardelli.

"We are most fortunate that Bob Kidder will lead the new company through its transformation," said Nardelli. "My number one priority has been to preserve Chrysler and the livelihoods of thousands of people who depend on its success. 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."

With more than 40 years of experience, Kidder currently serves on the boards of Morgan Stanley, where he is the lead director, Schering-Plough Corporation, and Microvi Biotech Inc. He previously has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of both Duracell International Inc. and Borden Chemical Inc. and as director of such companies as Electronic Data Systems Corporation and General Signal Corporation. During his tenure with McKinsey and Co. Inc., Bob worked with a major OEM client in the automotive industry. Bob currently is Chairman and CEO of 3Stone Advisors LLC, an investment firm that focuses on clean-tech companies. He holds an M.S., Industrial Economics from Iowa State University and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan. He resides with his family in Columbus, Ohio.

"I am pleased to join Chrysler at a time when Chrysler is poised to launch an exciting new era," said Kidder. "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."

Chrysler LLC announced on April 30, 2009 that, as a result of the comprehensive restructuring plan agreed to by many of its stakeholders, it had reached an agreement in principle to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat to form a vibrant new company.

On the same day, Chrysler LLC and 24 of its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiaries also filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Chrysler also filed a motion under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code requesting the swift approval by the Court of the agreement with Fiat and the sale of Chrysler's principal assets to the new company. The benefit of this type of filing is speed. It will allow a leaner new company to emerge in less than 60 days from the time of filing, well positioned for long-term viability.

Nardelli, Chrysler's Chairman and CEO since August 2007, announced on April 30 his plan to leave the company following the completion of the transactions. He will return to Cerberus Capital Management LP as an advisor. He said that it was "an appropriate time to let others take the lead in the transformation of Chrysler with Fiat, and I will work closely with all of our stakeholders to see that this new company swiftly emerges with a successful closing of the alliance."

As stated in the terms of agreement, upon successful completion of the alliance, a board of directors for the new company will be appointed. The majority of the directors will be independent (not employees of Chrysler or Fiat). The board will select a CEO with Fiat's concurrence.


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  • 21 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      He's there to make sure the EV's happen..he's a battery guy / business guy. MIGHT be just what they need.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does it really matter if he has a MBA in BS from FU, if he can right the ship then he's the guy they need.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hmm, I wonder what is idea of quality is?
      • 5 Years Ago


      Who ever said that the new Chrysler must make cars and trucks? Use your imagination!

      Chrysler toasters, Chrysler washing machines, Chrysler food products........
      • 5 Years Ago
      Someone needs to take a picture of what's in his garage - quick before it changes.

      Don't care if it's domestic or not but I hope for a 7 series, not a Lexus (and I really hate BMW's, but you get the idea)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well i hate to burst your bubble guys, but sometimes if you get a dude savy enough in economics and streamlining that would also understand national customer behavior and needs to a certain point and has a good idea about quality... he wouldn't have to be very savvy in the product he's selling.

      to most of us on Autoblog, cars are soulful machines that exist to make our lives a better place, but to most people in automakers managements they are just blenders that happen to work on fuel and have tires, and in some cases develop high cornering forces. if they would take over an agricultural company they might be equally succesful. some say that if you are detached from the emotional bond others might have with the product, you will sell it better... i see the point, but i don't think i can ever sell something i don't like.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "leaves us wondering what kind of CEO Kidder"

      It doesn't say he's going to be the CEO, just the Chairman of the Board of the Chrysler Group. They're not the same thing and don't have to be the same person--hence Nardelli's titles of Chairman *and* CEO. The Chairman is a higher rank but deals primarily with corporate governance, while the CEO is the top manager. CEOs like to be chairmen as well because they generally get paid more and are seen as swinging a bigger stick in the country club locker room, but there are good arguments for having them separate. E. g., Bill Ford Jr. used to be Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Co., but now he's the Chairman and Alan Mulally is CEO (and President) of Ford.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know nothing about the guy but if he is fellow U of M engineering grad, he get's a point.

      Go Blue
      Ohio State Sucks
        • 5 Years Ago
        John, you're really really really itching for a fight, aren't ya??
        • 5 Years Ago
        hit it hard, every yard for isu!
        • 5 Years Ago
        CEO of Chrysler??? That's just like winning first-class accommodations on the Titanic...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, I don't know anything about him, so I won't be passing judgment. As an engineering graduate, he should have the mindset of problem solving (even if it is fake "engineering" like industrial - LOL just kidding to all the IE's out there!).

      Good luck to him. I'm not holding my breath, but maybe someday Chryslers will once again be truly desirable vehicles again. I just felt weird typing that out.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Undertaker.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damn, that came out fo the Blue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't panic anyone... He's just Kidding!

      • 5 Years Ago
      With Chrysler in it's current state of financial woe, perhaps a person with a background in industrial economics is exactly what the company needs.

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