Big changes are afoot in the top ranks at BMW, as the Bavarian automaker has announced not just one, but several appointments in the top floors of its towering headquarters in Munich in what the company itself is referring as "a generational change" in its leadership.
Ferrari is undergoing a big shakeup, and not just on the Formula One racing grid. It's just parted ways with its longtime chairman, is being spun off from the rest of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group and will soon launch its initial public offering on the stock market. But one thing it's not about to change at this point is its CEO.
Taking charge of a major corporation will never be without its challenges, and one of those – as Honda CEO Takanobu Ito is finding out – is filling the big shoes of those that came before. Ito's predecessors are apparently not pleased with what he's doing to the company, and are wasting no time in telling him so.
Holden had a crisis of leadership over the past few years. GM's Australian division had three chief executives in as many years, before Mike Devereux steered it through a period of relative stability for the better part of three years. Devereux was succeeded earlier this year by Gerry Dorizas, but after less than eight months on the job, Dorizas is stepping down, too.
Aston Martin has been without a helmsman since Ulrich Bez stepped down from the chief executive office at the end of last year to serve as non-executive chairman in a semi-retired ambassadorial capacity. The British automaker, now on the cusp of a new era, has been running without a CEO since, but has now named Bez's replacement in Andy Palmer.
Takashi Yamanouchi has been with Mazda for a long time. He signed on with the Japanese automaker in April 1967 – one month after graduating from Keio University – and rose through the ranks over the years. By 1996 he was named to the company's board of directors. In 2008 he was named president and CEO, an office he held until 2013, after which he handed over the day-to-day reins to Masamichi Kogai and took up the seat at the head of the board room to serve as the company's chairman.
It's been about two years since DRB-Hicom took over Proton, and through it Lotus. One of its first courses of action was to fire the existing CEO, Dany Bahar, and proceed to scrap most if not all of his (arguably over-) ambitious plans. In his place they put one of their own – Aslam Farikullah – as Chief Operation Officer, but now the Malaysian-owned British automaker has attracted an industry heavyweight to lead it into the future.
Mary Barra has been CEO of GM for less than a month, but she's already receiving major accolades. Barra took the top spot in Fortune magazine's first list of the 50 Global Most Powerful Women in Business, ahead of Ginni Rometty, the chairman and CEO of IBM, in second place and Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsi, in third.
Already there are many signs that suggest General Motors CEO Dan Akerson will retire next year, but he hasn't formally announced his plans to GM's board, The Economic Times reports, and the search for a new CEO apparently hasn't started. If Akerson retires next year, as is speculated, the move would come sooner than when was expected when he took the job back in 2010.
Mary Barra, the current Executive Vice President, Global Product Development for General Motors and widely believed to be a leading candidate to succeed current GM CEO Dan Akerson, has been named to the Fortune's Top 50 Women in Business list for the second year in a row.
Running a Detroit auto company won't be a good ol' boys club forever, at least according to the Chairman of General Motors, Dan Akerson. Speaking at the 2013 Michigan Automotive Summit this week, Akerson said that a female CEO was "inevitable," with some sources suggesting the comment may have been a reference to Mary Barra, GM's Senior Vice President of Global Product Development, one of the executives tipped to be in the running to succeed Akerson when he retires.
What do you do if you're in a job with no upward mobility? Admittedly, most of us just stick it out while secretly hoping our boss is sacked for all those paperclips he's been swiping, netting us a nice, shiny promotion. Then again, most of us aren't the number two at Renault, like Carlos Tavares.
There's some executive rearranging going on in the top suite at Mazda Motor Corporation in Japan, with current CEO Takashi Yamanouchi telling reporters there "I'd like to hand over the work to younger people" now that the company has returned to profitability. Yamanouchi became CEO on November 19, 2008 of an independent Mazda that had to fight for its future in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis. What followed was four years of losses before finally getting back to black last
Those of you that caught yesterday's op-ed about Lincoln will have heard already, but Mark LaNeve has taken the helm at Team Detroit. Once the North American vice president of sales, service and marketing for General Motors, LaNeve will now head up the agency that handles all of Ford advertising. LaNeve will also run the account for Lincoln. While at GM from 2001 to 2009, the exec oversaw ad campaigns like Cadillac's Breakthrough and sales initiatives like "Employee Pricing for Everyone."
There appear to be two takes on Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche having his contract extended for three more years, to 2016. A report in The Detroit News quotes the chairman of Daimler's supervisory board, Manfred Bischoff, talking up the stability at the top, "With today's extensions of the contracts of Dieter Zetsche and Thomas Weber, we are maintaining the important continuity at the top executive level." Bischoff also stated that that Zetsche has a plan to "further enhance Daimler's overall perfor