Chrysler LLC named Bob Nardelli CEO.
The move comes just days after private equity firm Cerberus completed its purchase of Chrysler from
. Chrysler's previous boss, Tom LaSorda, will stay on as vice chairman.
"We are excited to welcome Bob to the Chrysler family," said LaSorda. "Bob has a proven track record of success and an unwavering focus on performance, and brings deep operational experience and a broad industry background to Chrysler. His background in operations will provide valuable knowledge as we continue Chrysler's turnaround."
Nardelli's track record of success includes a recently completed six-year stint at
, where he was ousted in January with shareholders irate over his $210 million pay package and the stock's failure to advance during his tenure.
"I am very excited to be part of a team focused on re-establishing Chrysler as a standalone industry leader, with a renewed focus on meeting the needs of customers," said Nardelli. "Chrysler has many deeply talented and dedicated people, and I am confident that together we can continue the momentum of Chrysler's recovery and return this great American icon to a path for global growth and competitiveness."
The news comes as Detroit's big three face off in labor talks this summer with the United Auto Workers. The car makers are hoping to gain concessions that will allow them to slash their retiree health benefit costs and become more competitive with foreign rivals.
Chrysler said operating chief Eric Ridenour will leave the new company to pursue other opportunities. The COO position will not be filled. Chrysler also said Wolfgang Bernard, an industry veteran who was expected to take the role of nonexecutive chairman, declined the job for "personal and family reasons."