Fisker names former Chrysler chief Tom LaSorda its vice chairman

Starting a new automaker from scratch is no easy feat. Henrik Fisker is a visionary designer, but to get his Karma luxury hybrid on the road, he knew he'd need a good management team behind him. So he brought in BMW and Ford native Bernhard Koehler as Chief Operating Officer, General Motors number cruncher Joe DaMour as Chief Financial Officer and former Jaguar marketing chief Richard Beattie as the company's new Chief Commercial Officer. And now Fisker Automotive has added another name to the roster: Tom LaSorda.
No, we're not talking about the Los Angeles Dodgers coach here. We're talking about the former Chrysler chief who managed Detroit's No. 3 automaker starting in the Daimler days, through the Cerberus period and helped broker the sale to Fiat. Prior to that, the Canadian-born auto exec spent years working for GM, but in his new role at Fisker, he'll be acting primarily in an advisor capacity as Vice-Chairman of the Board and Chairman of its Strategic Council.

LaSorda will undoubtedly have some experience to impart on the upstart automaker, and since his role will be principally to provide advice, hopefully the Karma's build quality and panel gaps will be a bit better than a Sebring's. Follow the jump for the full press release.
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Fisker Automotive Appoints Tom LaSorda as Vice Chairman of the Board

- Former President and CEO of Chrysler Group builds on existing global leadership strength of the Fisker Board
- Brings extensive automotive operational experience to Fisker as the Karma sedan reaches first customers

Anaheim, California, USA – December 15, 2011:Fisker Automotive is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom LaSorda to the newly created role of Vice Chairman of the Fisker Board and Chairman of the Board's Strategy Council. LaSorda will also work as an executive advisor to the management team on day to day operations, reporting to co‑founder and CEO, Henrik Fisker.

A well-known automotive industry executive with more than 30 years of experience, LaSorda was a former CEO, President, and Vice Chairman of Chrysler Group, a company he joined in 2000 before retiring in 2009. He played an integral role in the sale of Chrysler to the Fiat Group. Prior to his service with Chrysler, LaSorda held a number of executive positions at General Motors over a 23 year career.

He is currently a co-founder of a venture capital fund – Stage 2 Innovations – with Manoj Bhargava, the sole investor and owner of 5-hour ENERGY based in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

In his new role, LaSorda will work closely with Fisker Automotive's Chief Operations Officer, Bernhard Koehler, Chief Financial Officer, Joe DaMour, and newly appointed Chief Commercial Officer, Richard Beattie.

"We are delighted to welcome Tom to the leadership team of Fisker Automotive," said co-founder and CEO Henrik Fisker. "The company is entering a new stage of growth, to which Tom's strategic vision and experience will be vital. His appointment sends a strong statement about the future direction of Fisker Automotive as it becomes a global car company."

Ray Lane, Fisker Automotive's Chairman said, "LaSorda is joining a Board that has recently been expanded to include Mindy Grossman, Scott Sandell and Timothy Shriver."

Mindy Grossman is CEO and a Director of Home Shopping Network (HSN) where she oversees a $3 billion retail portfolio and brings extensive retail and apparel industries through her experience at HSN, Nike, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger.

Scott Sandell is a general partner with New Enterprise Associates (NEA) where he focuses on investments in information technology and alternative energy and oversees NEA's operation in China. Sandell is also a board member for numerous green energy and technology companies.

Timothy Shriver is an entrepreneur and film producer, who is also Chairman and CEO of the Special Olympics which serves nearly four million intellectually disabled athletes in 179 countries around the world.

Fisker Automotive is an American car company, founded in 2007, committed to producing electric vehicles with extended range (EVer) that deliver uncompromised responsible luxury. The company is designing and developing the world's first line of premium electric plug-in hybrids representing the company's firm belief that environmentally conscious cars need not sacrifice passion, style, or performance. Fisker Automotive is a global company that is redefining luxury for the modern sports car buyer. For more information on the brand and the Fisker Karma Sedan, please go to

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