Chrysler Pilfers Toyota's Top US Executive

Firm's highest-ranking non-Japanese ever jumps ship
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2007 4:18 PM CDT
Jim Press, president of Toyota Motors North America, poses with his personal Toyota Tacoma 4x4 at the Toyota's U.S. headquarters in Torrance, Calif., in this May 22, 2006 file photo. Chrysler has hired...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Toyota North America's president will become the new co-president and vice chairman of Chrysler, the Detroit Free Press reports. Jim Press, the highest-ranking non-Japanese exec in Toyota's history, brings a reputation as a talented manager to Chrysler, which is in the process of transforming into a private company after being sold by Daimler.

Press will share both positions with Tom LaSorda, replaced as CEO by Bob Nardelli but in charge of labor negotiations. "Our top team now consists of a world-class 'supply' leader in Tom and an equally world-class 'demand' leader in Jim," Nardelli said. Though it's rare for Detroit to grab its Japanese competitor's execs, Chrysler recently lured away a Lexus VP.