Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Daniel F. Akerson has been chairman and chief executive officer of General Motors since 2010 and led the company's initial public offering that year – the largest in U.S. history. He joined the company in July, 2009 as a member of the Board of Directors.
Under Mr. Akerson's leadership, GM is experiencing a substantial transformation to re-establish the company as an industry leader in dramatic automotive design, technology, business results and corporate financial performance. Mr. Akerson's team is taking critical steps to drive consistent profitability, gain global market share, improve product quality and customer care, and invest in technology, manufacturing and job creation.
To date, Mr. Akerson's efforts have been recognized by The Detroit Free Press, Michigan's largest newspaper, which named Mr. Akerson a co-winner of its Automotive Leadership Award in January 2013 for guiding GM through its bankruptcy crisis during the deep global recession of 2009.
Before joining GM, Mr. Akerson was a managing director and head of global buyout for The Carlyle Group in Washington, D.C. In this position, he managed more than $50 billion in assets and more than 200 portfolio companies with several hundred thousand employees around the world.
Mr. Akerson also served as CEO or president of several telecommunications and technology companies, including MCI, Nextel Communications, XO Communication and General Instrument, through periods of explosive growth and dynamic change.
Mr. Akerson serves on the boards of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, the Detroit Economic Club, the Tsinghua University (China) School of Economics and Management Advisory Board and the International Business Leaders Advisory Council of Shanghai. He is a member of The Business Council, comprising 150 active-member CEOs from the world's largest businesses.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor of science in engineering, Mr. Akerson earned a master's of science degree in economics from the London School of Economics.
Executive Vice President &
Chief Financial Officer
Dan Ammann was named GM executive vice president & chief financial officer in April 2011. Mr. Ammann leads GM’s global finance operations and also has responsibility for GM’s captive financing business at GM Financial. Previously, he served as vice president finance and treasurer since April 2010. He was appointed to the Opel Supervisory Board in November 2011.
Dan Ammann is a certified industry pool test driver at the Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack in Germany.
Before joining GM, Mr. Ammann was managing director and head of Industrial Investment Banking for Morgan Stanley. During his 11 years at Morgan Stanley, he was instrumental in many high profile assignments including advising GM during its 2009 restructuring. He previously spent five years at Credit Suisse in New York and New Zealand.
Mr. Ammann holds a bachelor of management studies (First Class Honours) from the University of Waikato in New Zealand.
President and CEO
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
In June of 2010, Jonathan Browning assumed responsibility for global directing of the Volkswagen Group's National Sales Company. On October 1, 2010, Mr. Browning became president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and president for the Volkswagen of America brand.
Jonathan Browning has held numerous executive sales and marketing posts worldwide at General Motors (GM) and Ford Motor Company. He was vice president of European sales, service and marketing at the GM Group from 2001 to 2008, and also chairman of Vauxhall Motors from 2006 to 2008, becoming GM vice president of global sales, service and marketing in 2008. Mr. Browning worked for the Ford Group from 1997 to 2001, first as executive director of marketing for Ford Europe and then as the global managing director of Jaguar.
Mr. Browning received his masters of business administration from Duke University.
Robert S. Carter
Senior Vice President –
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc.
Bob Carter is senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. Inc. Mr. Carter is responsible for the Toyota division, the Lexus division, sales administration, Toyota Logistics Services, Toyota Motor Sales de Mexico and Toyota de Puerto Rico.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Carter was group vice president and general manager of Toyota division at TMS, where he was responsible for leading all sales, logistics and marketing activities for Toyota and Scion regional sales offices and distributors.
Bob Carter previously served as group vice president and general manager of Lexus where he oversaw all aspects of Lexus automotive operations, including sales and marketing, retail development, customer satisfaction and product planning. His responsibilities also included coordinating sales activities, dealer relations, parts and service operations, and the marketing operations of four regional offices around the country.
As vice president of sales for the Toyota division earlier in his career, Mr. Carter was responsible for dealer and field operations for TMS, private-distributor interface coordination, corporate retail dealer development and public companies. Mr. Carter has also served as vice president of sales and dealer development for the Lexus division.
Since joining TMS in 1981 as a warranty processor, Mr. Carter has held a number of other positions, including general manager of Toyota's Denver regional sales office, Lexus eastern area manager, and Lexus national market representation manager. He was also the general manager and part owner of Hyannis Toyota in Hyannis, Mass.
Bob Carter received a bachelor's degree in business from Shippensburg State College in Shippensburg, Pa.
Head of Automotive
Global Vertical Strategy
Kass Dawson joined Facebook as the head of automotive on the global vertical strategies team in April of this year. He brought to Facebook a wealth of automotive experience.
For the 4 years prior to joining Facebook, Mr. Dawson worked for Jumpstart Automotive Group (a premium automotive ad network that exclusively represents 14 of the top endemic sites), where he ran the marketing department and headed up the product development team. Before Jumpstart, he spent nearly 10 years on the client side at Mercedes-Benz USA where he learned the ins and outs of the auto industry (in various marketing and PR capacities).
Chief Operating Officer
Ford Motor Company
Mark Fields is chief operating officer, Ford Motor Company, effective Dec. 1, 2012. In this role, Mr. Fields is responsible for all business operations.
Formerly, Mark Fields served as executive vice president, Ford Motor Company, and president, The Americas, a position to which he was named in October 2005. He led the development, manufacturing, marketing and sales of Ford and Lincoln vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America, and was responsible for the transformation of the company’s North American operations and its record profitability.
Previously, Mr. Fields served as executive vice president, Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group (PAG), where he led all activities for Ford’s premium vehicle business group, and for Ford-brand vehicles manufactured and sold in European countries. Prior to that, he was chairman and chief executive officer of PAG.
Mr. Fields joined Ford Motor Company in July 1989. From 2000-2002, he was president and CEO of Mazda Motor Company, leading the company through a period of significant transformation. He previously held a number of positions in both South and North America, including managing director of Ford Argentina.
Mark Fields was named a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 2000 and CNBC’s Asian Business Leader – Innovator of the Year for 2001. He holds an economics degree from Rutgers University (USA) and a master of business administration from Harvard Graduate School of Business.
Vice President, Marketing
BMW of North America, LLC
Trudy Hardy is the vice president, marketing of BMW of North America LLC. In this position she is responsible for all marketing and product planning and strategy for the BMW brand in the US.
Most recently Ms. Hardy was head of marketing communications and consumer events for the BMW brand in the US, a position she held since 2010. In this role she directed the strategic development of national and regional advertising, experiential marketing, digital marketing and social media.
Ms. Hardy joined the BMW Group in 2001 as MINI USA brand communications manager before moving to aftersales marketing in 2003. In 2005 Ms. Hardy returned MINI USA where she was promoted to department head, MINI marketing. In this position she directed all brand strategy, positioning, communication, research and events.
Prior to joining the BMW Group, Ms. Hardy began her automotive career with Jaguar Cars in the United States. There she held several positions within the marketing group, from advertising production to brand management.
Trudy Hardy earned her bachelor's degree in marketing from Ramapo College and is an active member of the Regional Board of Governors for the college and is a member of the alumni advisory board for the Anisfield School of Business.
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Mike Jackson is AutoNation's chairman and chief executive officer. He has served as CEO and as a director of the board since September 1999 and chairman of the board since January 1, 2003. Previously, he served as president and chief executive officer of Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, a North American operating unit of DaimlerChrysler AG, a multinational automotive manufacturing company. At Mercedes-Benz, he led a renaissance in the luxury vehicle brand's sales and marketing efforts. He also has been a dealer, operating as managing partner of Euro Motorcars of Bethesda, Md. from March 1979 to July 1990. The group owned and operated eleven automotive dealership franchises.
Most recently named again in 2011, Mr. Jackson is a seven-time member of the Automotive News "All-Star Team" of automotive executives and a four-time member of Advertising Age's "Marketing 100." In 2003, Mr. Jackson was named "Industry Leader Of the Year" by the Automotive Hall of Fame and in May 2011, Ernst & Young honored Mr. Jackson with a Lifetime Achievement Award under the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® Awards Program. Mr. Jackson is currently the chair of the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. In January 2011, Mr. Jackson was appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Miami Branch Board of Directors. Recently, Mr. Jackson was named one of the top 50 Global Business Leaders in 2011 by Fortune Magazine.
Mike Jackson is one of the nation's leading speakers on energy. He has spoken recently to Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, William J. Clinton School of Public Policy, Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations and the North American International Powertrain Conference.
Vice President and President
Power Solutions Johnson Controls
Brian Kesseler leads the power solutions team worldwide, including all operating businesses, technology initiatives, strategy development and execution. In this role Mr. Kesseler represents the company in the advancement of energy storage technologies, the support of vehicle energy efficiency standards, and as an advocate for sound energy and environmental policies. Mr. Kesseler was elected a corporate officer since 2012 and is a member of the executive operating team.
Mr. Kesseler previously held the position of chief operating officer of power solutions and served for three years as vice president and general manager, Americas for power solutions. He also served in the building efficiency business as vice president and general manager, service-North America, systems and services Europe, and unitary products group. Mr. Kesseler joined Johnson Controls in 1994 in the automotive experience business. During his career, he has played a major role in driving business growth, continuous improvement, quality, and customer satisfaction.
Brian Kesseler earned an undergraduate finance degree from Michigan State University and an MBA from Baldwin Wallace College. He serves on the board of directors for Special Olympics - Wisconsin and Marquette University High School.
Bob King was elected UAW president in June, 2010. Known for his activism and passionate belief in social and economic justice, Mr. King also served three terms as a UAW vice president. First assigned to lead the union's National Organizing Department in 1998, he assisted more than 80,000 workers in organizing with the UAW and pioneered neutrality and majority signup agreements.
From 1989 to 1998, Mr. King served three terms as director of UAW Region 1A, in the Detroit area. He joined UAW Local 600 in 1970 when he was hired at Ford Motor Co.'s Detroit Parts Depot and began his electrical apprenticeship in 1972. He was elected vice president in 1981 and president in 1984. He was re-elected in 1987 and twice elected chair of the UAW Ford Negotiating Committee.
A keen and strategic negotiator, Mr. King led the union through tough contract talks with the domestic automakers in 2011, winning back many of the concessions workers made to help the companies weather the Great Recession that began in 2008. The 2011 contracts created tens of thousands of new jobs at the domestic carmakers in communities across the U.S. and tens of thousands more in related industries and services that will benefit struggling communities.
As a UAW vice president, Mr. King played a major role in both the UAW Ford 2007 National Agreement and the 2009 modifications of the agreement.
A 1968 graduate of the University of Michigan, Mr. King received his law degree in 1973 from the University of Detroit.
Chief Operating Officer
Global Team Ford
A former University of Virginia linebacker, Mark LaNeve began his career in the Los Angeles zone office for the Cadillac division of GM in 1981, where he moved up rapidly in sales and marketing, eventually being named marketing director of Cadillac in 1994.
Following a brief stint at Pontiac, Mr. LaNeve left GM in 1997 to join Volvo Cars North America. As president and CEO at Volvo, he helped lead a resurgence of the brand into the premium space of the US market and was heavily involved in the integration of Volvo with Ford, which purchased the brand in 1999.
He left Volvo in 2001 to return to GM where he took over as general manager of the beleaguered Cadillac brand that was preparing for a product renaissance. Behind a radical new ad campaign, "Breakthrough" that featured the music of Led Zeppelin, Cadillac roared back with hot models such as the Escalade utility and new CTS sedan.
After being promoted to VP, sales, service and marketing in 2005, Mr. LaNeve led GM through one of the most tumultuous and difficult periods in U.S. automotive history. Always known as a "dealer guy", Mr. LaNeve's team launched numerous innovative sales and dealer support programs including Standards for Excellence, Essential Brand Elements and the "Employee Pricing for Everyone" phenomenon.
Mr. LaNeve left GM in October 2009 to join Allstate Insurance in Chicago where he launched the widely acclaimed and award-winning Mayhem campaign. Though he enjoyed running sales and marketing at this insurance juggernaut, he missed the car business and he returned to it in August 2012 by being named COO of Global Team Ford and president of Hudson Rouge, the agency for the Lincoln Motor Company.
In his current role, Mark oversees thousands of talented people working on the Ford and Lincoln business at Team Detroit in the U.S., as well as London, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, and Hudson Rouge in NYC.
Member of the Executive Board
Helmut Matschi is a member of the executive board, interior division for Continental Automotive GmbH, a position he was appointed to in August 2009.
Mr. Matschi began his career as a research and development engineer with the Installation technology division of Siemens AG in Regensburg in 1986. He worked for a segment of Siemens Automation and Drives that would later become Siemens Automotive. After serving in various positions in research and development, business development and sales and in quality assurance for airbag electronics, restraint systems and car body electronics, he was promoted in 1999 to run the Carbody Electronics business segment of former Siemens Automotive, which became Siemens VDO Automotive AG in 2001, following the acquisition of VDO by Siemens AG.
In 2003, Mr. Matschi was appointed to head the global Body and Chassis division of Siemens VDO, where he accompanied the company's acquisition of Huntsville Electronics from DaimlerChrysler in 2004. At that time he moved to Huntsville to run the global business of the division and taking care of the successful integration of Huntsville Electronics into Siemens VDO. In autumn 2005, he moved to Korea, leading the body and chassis business and at the same time driving the company's business in the Asian markets.
In April 2006, Mr. Matschi was appointed to become member of the board of Siemens VDO Automotive AG as group vice president, being responsible for the Infotainment and Interior business unit. With the acquisition of Siemens VDO by Continental AG in 2007, Mr. Matschi took over the position as president of the Division Interior, one of the three automotive divisions within Continental corporation established after the acquisition.
Mr. Matschi received a Dipl. Ing. (FH) degree in communications technology from the University of Applied Sciences in Regensburg, Germany.
Senior Vice President,
Sales & Marketing,
Customer Quality and
Dealer Network Development
José Muñoz is senior vice president, sales & marketing, customer quality and dealer network development, Nissan Americas.
Mr. Muñoz joined Nissan in 2004 after a career that included more than 10 years of management positions with other various automotive companies in Europe. He began his Nissan career as general manager, Dealer Development for Nissan Europe. He then became the managing director of Nissan Iberia, S.A. (NIBSA). Prior to being appointed to his current position, Mr. Muñoz represented Mexico, LAC and Brazil on the Management Committee - Americas. He led the NMEX, NLAC and NBA Sales and marketing functions as well as the Customer Quality and Dealer Network Development organization across the Americas.
In 2009, Mr. Muñoz was named president of Nissan Mexicana (NMEX) and under his leadership, the NMEX organization achieved the highest market share in Nissan's history and saw a 42-month run of sales leadership in Mexico. Mr. Muñoz was also responsible for developing key dealer network initiatives that led to significant improvements across NMEX's sales network.
Mr. Muñoz holds a doctoral degree in nuclear engineering from Polytechnic University of Madrid and a master's of business administration from Instituto de Empresa Business School in Madrid. He has also completed other executive management programs from Cranfield School of Management in the U.K. and INSEAD Business School in France.
Director of Global Upstream Planning
Nissan Motor Company
Product Strategy and Infotainment
Global Connected Consumer
Greg Ross serves as director of product strategy and infotainment for GM's Global Connected Consumer group, where he is responsible for leading the implementation of GM's infotainment product line-up in GM vehicles.
Previously, Mr. Ross was director of business extensions for OnStar, leading the effort to develop new business ventures which build on OnStar's strong brand and well-established reputation for customer service.
Greg Ross has been with OnStar since the Fall of 2001. During most of that time, he was director of subscriber relationship marketing, with responsibility for growing and retaining OnStar's base of over 6 million subscribers. During that time, a successful program of subscriber communication and engagement was built, producing significant improvements in subscriber retention and greatly reducing costs.
Mr. Ross came to OnStar from General Motors' core automotive business, where he held several leadership positions in product marketing, sales, and product development. He served as brand manager at the GMC Division, leading the medium pickup business and leading early development of what became the GMC Acadia. He also led product planning projects in both North America and in Europe, setting strategy for some of GM's highest volume products including the Chevrolet Silverado and Opel Astra and Corsa. Mr. Ross was also fortunate to be a part of some of GM's most innovative projects in the 1980's and 1990's. He was a part of the product planning and development team for GM's EV1 Electric Vehicle program. Early in his GM career, Mr. Ross was part of the initial Saturn team, where he recruited and selected Saturn Retailers and retail locations.
Greg Ross graduated from the University of Michigan with an undergraduate degree in economics and a Masters in Business Administration degree.
President & CEO
Volvo Car Corporation
Håkan Samuelsson is the president & CEO of Volvo Car Corporation, a position he was appointed to in October 2012.
Mr. Samuelsson started his professional career in Scania in 1977 where he stayed for more than 20 years. He held leading positions within the technical organization of Scania before he joined the executive board in 1996 where he was responsible for development and production. He brought his vast truck experience from Scania to MAN in 2000, when he became head of MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, a subsidiary of MAN AG. When Mr. Samuelsson became CEO of MAN in 2005, he initiated a broad restructuring of the group which resulted in an enhanced and more efficient organization with a more focused product portfolio. Mr. Samuelsson has served in Latin America and in multiple parts of Europe.
Mr. Samuelsson is also a Member of the Supervisory Board & Finance & Investment Committee at Siemens.
Håkan Samuelsson earned an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
Manheim and AutoTrader Group
Sanford (Sandy) Schwartz is president of Manheim and AutoTrader Group, both subsidiaries of Cox Enterprises.
In 2011, Mr. Schwartz became Manheim’s president where he has led the company to identify growth opportunities in the automotive industry space. Under his leadership, Manheim acquired Dealer Services Corporation (DSC) and merged it with Manheim’s financial services to form NextGear Capital, Inc., the largest floor planning provider in the world (commercial financing for wholesalers). Prior to this role, Mr. Schwartz served as president of Cox Media Group, an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing, and digital media company. He joined Cox in 1985 and served in various roles of increasing responsibility including president of Cox Arizona Publishing, executive vice president of the Austin American-Statesman, vice president and general manager of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, executive vice president of Cox Newspapers and vice president of business development for Cox Enterprises.
Mr. Schwartz’s automotive experience includes serving as president of Cox Auto Trader from 2006 to 2008, comprised of both AutoTrader.com and AutoTrader Publishing. He has been a member of the AutoTrader Group board since 2004.
David L. Strickland
National Highway Traffic
David Strickland is the fourteenth administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As the country's top automotive safety official, Mr. Strickland is committed to supporting NHTSA's longstanding mission of reducing crash-related injuries and fatalities while ensuring the highest standards of safety on the nation's roadways. Since being sworn into office on January 4, 2010, Mr. Strickland has overseen the development of the first national fuel efficiency program, helped establish ejection mitigation requirements for automakers, and brought national public focus to child passenger safety issues including the threat of heat stroke from hot cars and back-over deaths and injuries.
Mr. Strickland oversees the broad range of vehicle safety and policymaking programs under NHTSA's jurisdiction - including setting vehicle safety standards, investigating possible safety defects, and tracking safety-related recalls; establishing and enforcing regulations on fuel economy; investigating odometer fraud and publishing vehicle theft data. He also leads the agency in its efforts to educate communities on the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol, encouraging seat belt use, and addressing pedestrian safety concerns, among other issues. Under Mr. Strickland's leadership, NHTSA is spearheading innovative research and data analysis while providing states and community partners with a variety of resources critical to occupant protection and highway safety.
Prior to his appointment to NHTSA, Mr. Strickland served for eight years on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation as the Senior Counsel for the Consumer Protection Subcommittee. In that role, he was the lead staff person for the oversight of NHTSA, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. His advice to Commerce Committee members during their work on NHTSA's reauthorization in 2005 led to the inclusion of several significant vehicle safety mandates, including the electronic stability control mandate for every passenger vehicle. Mr. Strickland advised Congressional members on safety reforms and funding increases for NHTSA's seat-belt and drunk-driving grant programs and earned national recognition from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, who named him Congressional Staffer of the Year in 2004 for his role in making the driving public safer.
Mr. Strickland earned his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and his B.S. degree in communication studies and political science from Northwestern University.
Group Vice President,
Ford Motor Company
Hau Thai-Tang was appointed group vice president, global purchasing, Ford Motor Company effective Aug. 1, 2013. Mr. Thai-Tang's global purchasing organization is responsible for more than $90 billion in annual spending on production and non-production goods and services around the world.
Mr. Thai-Tang previously served as vice president, engineering for global product development. In this capacity, he directed all global engineering for car, truck, SUV and crossover vehicles for the Ford and Lincoln brands in support of the One Ford plan.
Prior to this role, Mr. Thai-Tang held several senior leadership positions in product development. He was executive director of global product programs, and director of advanced product creation and special vehicle team (SVT). In these roles, he led the delivery of Ford's mainstream and high performance products from conception to launch across all regions.
Hau Thai-Tang's international experience includes assignments in Cologne, Germany and four years serving as director of product development for Ford South America. Based in Brazil, he oversaw the development of new products for value markets and led the emergence of FSAO as a global product development center.
Previously, Mr. Thai-Tang served as the chief engineer for the Mustang program, leading the design, development, and launch of the 2005 model year Mustang. An avid car enthusiast, Mr. Thai-Tang was a race engineer for Nigel Mansell and Mario Andretti on Ford's Newman-Haas IndyCar team in 1993. His efforts contributed to six victories, eleven podium finishes, and the overall driver's and manufacturer's championships.
In 2001, the Automotive Hall of Fame awarded Mr. Thai-Tang the Young Leadership and Excellence Award. He was also named Asian Executive of the Year by On Wheels Inc. in 2006.
After graduating in 1988 from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering, Mr. Thai-Tang joined Ford as a college graduate trainee. In 1993, he earned a master of business administration degree with distinction, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
James R. Verrier
President and Chief Executive Officer
James R. Verrier was named president and chief executive officer and a member of the Board of Directors in January 2013.
He served as president and chief operating officer BorgWarner Inc. from March 2012 through December 2012.
Mr. Verrier held positions of increasingly significant responsibility since joining the company in 1989. He served as president and general manager BorgWarner Morse TEC, and vice president and general manager BorgWarner Turbo Systems, Passenger Car Products based in Germany. His BorgWarner career experience also includes assignments in quality control, human resources and operations management.
Prior to joining BorgWarner he held positions within the quality engineering and metallurgy field with Lucas Aerospace, Rockwell Automotive and Britax Wingard in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Verrier holds a degree in Metallurgy and Materials Science from West Midlands College in the UK as well as an MBA from the University of Glamorgan, also in the UK.
Speakers subject to change without notice. Additional speakers to be confirmed.