Monday, August 27, 2007

Daimler or Chrysler? Time to choose

Liberatore will stay at Daimler

Bradford Wernle
Automotive News
August 27, 2007 - 12:01 am EST

Unger will stay at Daimler
DETROIT - Americans working at Daimler and German employees assigned to Chrysler have until Friday to decide who they'll stick with.

When the DaimlerChrysler divorce was finalized this month, 41 employees were caught on the other side of the corporate fence from where they started. For some that's just fine - they're happy to stay where they are.

Most, though, will head home. About 20 American expatriates are returning to the United States from Germany and 10 Germans in Auburn Hills, Mich., are returning to Germany.

Seven German Daimler employees in Auburn Hills will become Chrysler employees, and four Americans will remain in Germany as Daimler employees.

Cerberus Capital Management LP became the owner of 80.1 percent of Chrysler on Aug. 6. The German company's name will change to Daimler AG on Oct. 4.

The Aug. 31 deadline applies to all employees except those involved in ongoing joint projects between the two companies. Among those are engineers working on the joint axle program at Marysville, Mich., and engineers working on Bluetec diesel engines that will be used in Chrysler vehicles.

Hausch will stay at Chrysler
Roughly 125 Germans are remaining in Auburn Hills working on joint programs, including a two-stage hybrid engine project. About 10 Chrysler employees will remain in Germany working on joint projects.

The Aug. 31 deadline affects primarily headquarters employees and does not include those who work for the financial units.

Several officials who worked for Chrysler before the merger will stay with Daimler.

n Robert Liberatore, a Washington lobbyist for Chrysler before the 1998 merger, will stay on the Daimler side as group senior vice president for global external affairs and public policy. Liberatore will be based in Washington.

n Sue Unger, who was chief information officer and a senior vice president for DaimlerChrysler AG, has chosen to stay with Daimler.

Unger, 57, held those titles since Nov. 1, 1998, the same month and year that DaimlerChrysler stock began trading on stock exchanges worldwide.

Unger will remain with Daimler and help with the transition, then retire at the end of this year.

She has been with the former Chrysler Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG for a combined 35 years.

Among former Daimler-Benz executives remaining on the Chrysler side is Thomas Hausch, who was promoted to vice president of international sales for the Chrysler group in May. Hausch, a native of Stuttgart, held several jobs with Daimler-Benz and its Mercedes-Benz passenger car unit before the 1998 merger.

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