New CEO Nardelli takes over at Chrysler as LaSorda stands by

Chrysler's new Chairman and CEO Bob Nardelli introduced himself at a press conference this morning as his new No. 2 Tom LaSorda stood by his side (more like directly behind him). LaSorda, who until this past weekend was CEO himself, is staying on the team, though his own No. 2, COO Eric Ridenour, has decided to leave the company after 23 years of service.

Our man on the scene, Chris Shunk, reported there was a lot of talk about this being the "right team" and the "right time", though LaSorda, who helped devised and launch Chrysler's current turnaround plan, admitted that he told Cerberus management they should hire someone new if they thought that person could do a better job with the company than he could. Apparently they took him up on his offer.

That's why we find this picture so appropriate, with LaSorda acting as Chief Executive Wallflower to Nardelli's new Big Boss Man role. Of course, we know LaSorda's role will still be important, as both the UAW and CAW have been working with him during the ongoing contract talks that are crucial to the company's turnaround.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]

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