Bob-Swap: Nardelli Out, Kidder In at Chrysler

I first read over at Ken Bensinger's LA Times blog about Chrysler's new Chairman (but not CEO), Bob Kidder. Kidder After additional reading, I feel pretty good about Kidder; he brings to Chrysler an educational background in both engineering (bachelor's, University of Michigan College of Engineering) and business administration (master's in industrial economics, Iowa State University), according to profiles with Forbes and the University of Michigan.

What else has he done? Glad you asked.

Bob served with the U.S. Navy as an officer in the Naval Civil Engineering Corps and later, had his first brush with the automotive industry (namely, Ford) during the six years he worked for Chicago consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Beginning in 1978, Bob worked for Dart Industries in Los Angeles. Kidder Dart was founded by Justin Whitlock Dart, a man who married into the executive suite of the drugstore chain Walgreens before forming his own chain (as Rexall). Dart Industries bought Duracell batteries in 1978; two years later Kidder joined Duracell and over the next 14 years held a number of executive positions, concluding with chairman and CEO of Duracell International Inc, a job he quit in 1994.

In 1994, he retired to a Santa Barbara winery, but a year later was called out of retirement.

From 1995 to 2003, Bob served as Chairman and CEO of Borden Inc, a chemical and dairy foods company Kidder cleantech [that's right, they sold organic milk and Elmer's Glue …], which currently it operates as Borden Milk Products. From 2004 to 2006 Bob was a Principal at Stonehenge Partners, Inc, a private investment firm. From 2006 to the present, Bob has been Chairman and CEO of 3Stone Advisors LLC, a private investment firm that has "a Cleantech focus – businesses that help reduce impact on the environment while competing favorably on price, quality and performance."

Bob's other corporate responsibilities includes:
Director, Schering-Plough Corporation
Director, Morgan Stanley
Director, Nationwide Children's Hospital
President, Wexner Center Foundation
Board of Trustees, Ohio University

Yes he's a career executive, but with the world's shittiest car company in his hands, he can only go up (sort of), and plenty about him suggests he can help turn Chrysler around. So who's gonna be CEO - and why wasn't it Bob?

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