Chrysler says that there was no conflict, but other outlets have reported that Donoughe clashed with CEO Bob Nardelli and so-called Acting Chief Innovation Officer Peter Arnell. Arnell is an outside marketing consultant who also worked with Nardelli at Home Depot, and apparently came up with the Celine Dion/ Pacifica campaign (does anyone remember that?). Project D is tasked with developing Chrysler's next-gen midsize cars and also investigating ways for the automaker to be more competitive. (Not allowing demonstrably inferior product like the current Sebring and Avenger to ever see the light of day would be a great starting point.)
We know Chrysler has the talent to get this right, it's only a matter of how much upheaval it will take to do so. And since the new Sebring and Avenger aren't due until 2010 or 2011, whatever Chrysler comes up with better be awfully good, since most people's experience with them will be via the rental fleet gulag. Mark Chernoby has replaced Donoughe as vice president and chief engineer for Chrysler's future mid-size product team.
[Source: Wall Street Journal via Autoweek]