Chrysler shuffles execs

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Chrysler Corp.'s board on Thursday appointed Robert Lutz, now president-chief operating officer, as vice chairman, effective Jan. 1. The appointment will allow Mr. Lutz to remain with the carmaker past Chrysler's mandatory retirement age of 65. Mr. Lutz, who will focus primarily on product development, will report directly to Robert Eaton, chairman-CEO, whom the board elected president.

"I believe that Bob Lutz will go down in history as the greatest president Chrysler has ever had," Mr. Eaton said. "He played the lead role in forming the product strategy that resulted in Chrysler having the best product lineup in the industry. He also played a major role in assembling the teams that designed, developed and are now manufacturing, marketing and selling these outstanding products." Mr. Eaton added that Mr. Lutz will retain his director's seat and remain a member of the Office of the Chairman.

Also, Thomas Gale was appointed exec VP-product development and assumes engineering and product strategy responsibilities while continuing to lead design activities. Francois Castaing was appointed exec VP-international and continues as general manager of Power Train Operations. Mr. Gale and Mr. Castaing were believed to be the favorites in the running to succeed Mr. Lutz as president.

Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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