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Chrysler hired top



exec Jim Press as vice chairman and president.

Press, who was president and operating chief at Toyota Motor North America, will report to Chrysler chief Bob Nardelli. He will lead Chrysler's sales force.

"Tom LaSorda and I are thrilled that one of the most successfulexecutives in the history of the auto industry has joined our leadershipteam at the New Chrysler," Nardelli said in a press release. "Our top team now consists of a world-class 'supply' leader in Tom and an equally world-class 'demand' leader in Jim."

The move comes just weeks after private-equity giant Cerberus closed its acquisition of Chrysler from Germany's

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. The firm capped off that coup by hiring Nardelli, who was forced out of the top job at

Home Depot


earlier this year by restive shareholders.

"I am grateful for the support and opportunities I received during mythree-plus decades at Toyota," said Press. "I relish this new opportunitywith the Chrysler team to be a part of the resurgence of a true Americanicon here and around the world. Part of my new responsibilities will bestrengthening and energizing the dealer body. This is something I waspassionate about at Toyota and will be passionate about at Chrysler."

Shigeru Hayakawa, currently Toyota Motor North America's executive vice president, will be named president of TMNA and will continue to serve as a Toyota Motor Corporation managing officer.