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Nardelli takes over as chairman of Ohio paper company

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Nardelli takes over as chairman of Ohio paper company

Staff and wire reports

Automotive News -- June 15, 2010 - 3:05 pm ET

DETROIT -- Former Chrysler Chairman Bob Nardelli today was named non-executive chairman of NewPage Corp., a former unit of MeadWestvaco Corp. that makes coated paper products.

Cerberus Capital Management, the New York private investor that owned Chrysler prior to the automaker's government-sponsored bankruptcy reorganization last year, acquired Ohio-based NewPage in 2005 for $2.3 billion, according to the Dayton Daily News.

Nardelli, 62, assumed leadership of the company today after CEO Thomas Curley and Chairman Mark Suwyn resigned. Michael Edicola, vice president of human resources, also left NewPage.

“We thank Mark, Tom and Mike for their accomplishments at NewPage, and wish them well in their future endeavors,” Nardelli said in a statement.

The board has formed a search committee to recommend a new CEO, according to the statement.

Nardelli left Chrysler last June after the U.S. government bailed out the automaker with about $14.3 billion in taxpayer money. Italy's Fiat S.p.A. assumed management control of the reorganized company.

Nardelli played a leading role in the company's efforts to seek the bailout -- and testified on Capitol Hill along with GM CEO Rick Wagoner and Ford CEO Alan Mulally. He successfully fended off critics in Congress who contended that Cerberus should bail out the automaker, not the federal government.

Cerberus named Nardelli CEO of Chrysler in August 2007 after he spent seven years running retailer Home Depot Inc.

Home Depot's stock price fell 8 percent during Nardellli's tenure, leading shareholders to demand a shake-up. Nardelli's cost-cutting maneuvers upset employees and affected its customer satisfaction ratings.

Nardelli still earned $245 million during his tenure at Home Depot, plus $210 million in severance pay.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100615/OEM02/100619909/1178#ixzz0qxNk5JeT

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By Andrew Ganz

Bob Nardelli’s 2007-2009 reign as CEO of Chrysler won’t likely go down in history as one of the automaker’s bright points, but that didn’t stop Ohio-based NewPage Corporation from naming the controversial executive as its director and nonexecutive chairman.

NewPage, based in Miamisburg, Ohio, is a large paper producer that has had a close relationship with former Chrysler owner Cerberus Capital Management for more than 5 years. NewPage sold one of its divisions to Cerberus in 2005 and the capital management firm is NewPage’s largest shareholder.

Nardelli will continue to serve as Cerberus’ Operating and Advisory CEO and he will lead NewPage until the company finds a permanent CEO.

Ranked 17th on Portfolio.com’s 2009 list of the “worst American CEOs of all time,” Nardelli’s reputation comes after he left Home Depot in shambles – despite receiving a $200 million severance – and Chrysler in bankruptcy.



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