German-American auto giant
confirmed this morning that Chrysler head James Holden will be replaced with Dieter Zetsche and warned that the U.S. division will miss previous forecasts.
In a move that had been rumored for several days, the company confirmed that Zetsche will become president and CEO of Chrysler, effective immediately, as part of a program to reposition and restructure the business.
DaimlerChrysler, which is based in Stuttgart, Germany, and Auburn Hills, Mich., said Chrysler's results will fall below the last forecast and affect the earnings of whole company. During its third-quarter earnings report last month, the company said it expected Chrysler to return to profitability in the fourth quarter. The company also projected full-year operating earnings of 2 billion euros, compared with 5.1 billion euros in 1999.
Analysts expect DaimlerChrysler to earn 79 cents a share in the fourth quarter, compared with $1.60 a share in the same period last year.
Zetsche, who joined DaimlerChrysler in 1976, has been in charge of development and design of
passenger cars, as well as worldwide sales and marketing for Mercedes-Benz products. He was also a board member of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil and president of Mercedes-Benz Argentina. The company also named Wolfgang Bernhard as chief operating officer of the Chrysler Group.