C. Robert Kidder will become chairman of the new automaker resulting from the alliance of Chrysler LLC and Fiat SpA, replacing Robert Nardelli, who has said he will step down once the company emerges from bankruptcy.
Kidder is former chairman and chief executive of Borden Chemical Inc. and Duracell International Inc. He is the lead director on the board of Morgan Stanley, which is one of the creditors that agreed to take a loss by swapping $6.9 billion in Chrysler debt for $2 billion in cash. Kidder also is on the boards of Schering-Plough Corp. and Microvi Biotech Inc. Former board duties have included Electronic Data Systems Corp. and General Signal Corp.
His lone automotive experience was during his tenure with McKinsey and Co. Inc. when he worked with a client in the industry.
He will take over once Chrysler Group LLC buys the desired assets of Chrysler. A hearing on the asset sale is set for May 27 in New York.
Kidder currently is also chairman and CEO of 3Stone Advisors LLC, an investment firm that specializes in “clean-tech companies.”
“We are most fortunate that Bob Kidder will lead the new company through its transformation,” Nardelli said. “My No. 1 priority has been to preserve Chrysler and the livelihoods of thousands of people who depend on its success. With his broad expertise serving on numerous world-class boards and his accomplished business background, Bob will provide the leadership and strategic counsel that will help to create a strong global competitor moving forward.”
Kidder lives in Columbus, Ohio, and earned a degree in industrial engineering from the University of Michigan.
“I am pleased to join Chrysler at a time when Chrysler is poised to launch an exciting new era,” he said. “I am confident that Chrysler will emerge from Chapter 11 a lean and powerful competitor, combining its own rich history of innovation with Fiat’s technology and expertise to invigorate the American car market and to challenge other car companies around the globe.”
The new Chrysler-Fiat will have a new board of directors, with the majority being independent.
Nardelli returns to Cerberus Capital Management LP as an adviser.