Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
August 14, 2012
Almost two months ago, the vehicle line director for the Chevy Volt, Tony Posawatz announced his retirement. Posawatz worked at GM for more than 30 years at GM. Posawatz was one of the key people overseeing the Volt. Few people at the time expected him to jump back into the industry.
Fast forward to today and Tony Posawatz is now the new CEO of Fisker Automotive. He takes over from current CEO, Tom Lasorda who only became Fisker's CEO back in February.
"Tony is the perfect CEO for Fisker. He has been at the forefront of the industry's technological revolution and one of the few people in the world to bring an EV to mass production. Part of my assignment at Fisker was to recruit a long-term CEO and I cannot think of a better person than Tony to take us forward. He is a real product guy for a product driven company," said LaSorda in a press release.
The announce of Posawatz as the new CEO comes a few days after a another Fisker Karma caught on fire. Fisker said in a statement the fire did not come from the lithium-ion battery pack or the routing of exhaust. Fisker also said that they're working together with investigators.
That's not the only item on Poswatz's plate. He will be also overseeing the development of the Fisker Atlantic.
William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
Press Release is on Page 2
FISKER AUTOMOTIVE STRENGTHENS LEADERSHIP TEAM
Carmaker Appoints New Chief Executive and Expands Global Management with Asia and Manufacturing roles
• Tony Posawatz becomes CEO as Tom LaSorda finds successor
• Joe Chao to lead expansion in China and Asia
• Alberto Gonzalez named VP of Manufacturing
Anaheim, California, USA – August 14, 2012: Fisker Automotive, the leading manufacturer of luxury Electric Vehicles with extended range (EVer), today named Tony Posawatz, the former head of the Volt program at General Motors as its new Chief Executive Officer.
A well-known automotive industry professional with more than 30 years of experience in product development, strategy, program management, manufacturing and quality at General Motors, Posawatz's last role was as GM's Vehicle Line Director and key leader of Global Electric Vehicle development, where he was responsible for the award-winning Chevrolet Volt – bringing the car from concept to production.
"We are delighted to be adding an executive of Tony's caliber to the Fisker Automotive leadership team," said Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Henrik Fisker. "His depth of knowledge and experience in this innovative field of new technology means that he is one of the world's most experienced leaders in vehicle electrification technology and the plug-in ecosystem. In the long-term he will ensure that Fisker is well positioned to maximize the potential of not only the Karma sedan, but also bring the Fisker Atlantic smoothly to market."
Posawatz has consistently been recognized as an industry leader in product innovation and electrified vehicles and served as Chairman of the Board for the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA). In addition he led GM's initial efforts on hybrid programs and related technology development and was "employee number one" and founding member of the Chevrolet Volt program back in 2006.
"Tony is the perfect CEO for Fisker," said Tom LaSorda. "He has been at the forefront of the industry's technological revolution and one of the few people in the world to bring an EV to mass production.
"Part of my assignment at Fisker was to recruit a long-term CEO and I cannot think of a better person than Tony to take us forward. He is a real product guy for a product driven company," added LaSorda
Said Henrik Fisker, "Ultimately, Fisker Automotive is all about products that challenge the way that we think about cars for the next generation. Tony's expertise will guarantee that Fisker leads the way with its second-generation powertrain technology for the Atlantic and other future Fisker products."
Fisker Automotive is also pleased to announce the appointment of Joseph Chao as Executive Vice
President and CEO of China and Asia.
Chao brings more than 30 years of engineering, manufacturing and international business operations knowledge from GM, Chrysler and Daimler Chrysler where he served as President and CEO of Beijing Benz Ltd. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of SG Automotive in China and will now pave the way for Fisker's entry into the Chinese market later in 2012.
"Joe is a seasoned veteran and someone that I have worked with for more than 20 years," said Tom LaSorda. "He has outstanding experience in China and will be a great leader to launch the Fisker brand in both China and the rest of Asia."
Fisker is also pleased to announce the appointment of Alberto Gonzalez as Vice President of Manufacturing. Gonzalez also brings more than 30 years of global automotive manufacturing and assembly experience from Chrysler where he operated high-volume assembly plants in the US, Mexico and Canada.
Adds Henrik Fisker, "With these new appointments, we are sending a strong signal about Fisker Automotive and our future plans to develop the next generation of powertrain technology, bring more new Fisker products to market and expand our global sales footprint.
"Since the turn of the year we have strengthened our core executive leadership team with experienced industry professionals who will take Fisker to the next level. With Tony Posawatz as CEO, Jim Yost as CFO, Barny Koehler as Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer, Richard Beattie as Chief Commercial Officer and Joe Chao as CEO of China and Asia I believe we have an unbeatable team that can establish Fisker as a true global force and bring the highly anticipated Fisker Atlantic to market."
Comments Fisker Automotive's lead Board Director and largest investor, Ray Lane: "Fisker Automotive continues to build an amazing portfolio of talent that will truly establish the company as the leader in next-generation automotive technology. Tony's vast experience in this field makes him the perfect candidate to lead us into this exciting new future. To have such a globally recognized product leader is a huge coup for the company."