Phil Murtaugh Jumps to Chrysler
By Brendan Moore
Chalk up another great hire for the new Chrysler LLC
Phil Murtaugh stated today that he has left SAIC Motor, China’s largest car maker, and has accepted a position as head of Chrysler’s Asian operations. “It is an offer that I just cannot turn down”, commented Mr. Murtaugh. He will remain in Shanghai, China, and start his new position in October. He will report up to Mike Manley, who is Chrysler’s executive vice president of international sales and marketing. Mr Manley, in turn, reports to the newly hired Jim Press, Chrysler’s president and vice chairman for sales and marketing.
Phil Murtaugh served as chief of GM’s China operations before becoming an executive vice president at China’s largest state-owned auto maker. He is widely credited with building GM’s very successful Chinese subsidiary. He is the person responsible for developing and executing the partnership with SAIC Motor in 1997, and that partnership has reaped huge dividends for both General Motors and SAIC since.
SAIC Motor, previously known as Shanghai Automotive Co, said it appreciated Murtaugh’s contribution to the company, which has two major joint ventures making cars in China with General Motors and Volkswagen. SAIC also builds its own cars based on a design and production platform it purchased from the now-defunct MG Rover Group of Britain.Murtaugh joined SAIC in June 2006 after unexpectedly quitting his previous position as General Motors’ China chief. Murtaugh had spent 32 years with GM previous to his resignation.
The hiring of Murtaugh is another hiring coup for the new Chrysler LLC, and represents their seriousness about leveraging Asian manufacturing going forward, as well as their intent to sell vehicles in the various Asian markets.
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