DaimlerChrysler Announces the Retirement of Thomas C. Gale
"As many of my close friends and colleagues know, I have been contemplating retirement for some time. When Jim Holden took his position as President, I agreed to stay on and see the future product plan through, while continuing to build the team to succeed me. Now that both of those processes are complete and we're in to the next phase of development, it's time for me to step back and spend more time with my family," said Gale. "Although I am retiring, I'm pleased to say that Jim has asked me to continue in an advisory role for another two years."
Juergen E. Schrempp, Chairman of DaimlerChrysler AG said, "Tom has made a great contribution to DaimlerChrysler beyond his design responsibilities. As a Board of Management member he challenged us to think differently, and like all strong leaders he built a solid team. We are confident that with Rich Schaum and Trevor Creed he has put competent successors in place."
Tom is an icon in the automobile industry and a close friend. While he will surely be missed, he has built a great team to carry on the legacy," said James P. Holden, President and CEO, DaimlerChrysler Corporation and Board of Management Member, DaimlerChrysler AG. "Tom has mentored a wide group of people -- especially in design -- and institutionalized his risk-embracing, forward-thinking attitude which has become part of the fabric of this company's culture."
Best known for leading a series of concept, and later production vehicle introductions that began to change the Chrysler and Dodge brands from conservative, boxy-styled automobiles to more aggressive, clean and forward-looking vehicles, Gale and his team introduced the "cab-forward" design architecture to mainstream automobiles. He began his career at Chrysler in 1967 as a Body Engineer in the Engineering Office.
"Tom and his team created the Chrysler look -- he wanted our products to be in his words, remarkable," said Holden. "So while he's slowing down from the 24-7 schedule his position has demanded, it doesn't mean that we'll be without his counsel moving forward -- Tom will maintain an advisory role with the Chrysler Group for the next two years."
After his retirement, Gale will open a design consulting business and work with the Chrysler Group. He also plans to consult on the automotive aftermarket. Gale's engineering and product development responsibilities are reassigned to Richard O. Schaum.
Schaum is appointed Executive Vice President - Product Development and Quality & General Manager - Passenger Car Operations. Both he and Trevor M. Creed, recently appointed Senior Vice President - Design, will continue to report to Gale through the end of the year. Upon Gale's retirement, both will report directly to Holden.
In his new position, Schaum is responsible for all matters pertaining to Platform Engineering, Engineering Technologies, Regulatory Affairs, Product Planning and Quality for DaimlerChrysler Corporation (DCC).
Reporting to Schaum are Susan M. Cischke, Senior Vice President - Regulatory Affairs & General Manager - Passenger Car Operations, and Bernard I. Robertson, Senior Vice President - Engineering Technologies & General Manager Truck Operations. Also reporting to Schaum in his new capacity is Eric R. Ridenour, Vice President - Product Planning.
Schaum's replacement as Senior Vice President - Platform Engineering and Quality & General Manager - Power Train Operations will be named at a later date.
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