Pacts for DCX execs to expire

Chrysler group executives whose three-year contracts expire next month. Some may have renegotiated.

Executive vice presidents

  • Gary Henson, 59, manufacturing

  • Richard Schaum, 55, product development, quality

    Senior vice presidents

  • Darrell Davis, 62, service and parts

  • James Donlon, 55, controlling

  • Frank Ewasyshyn, 49, advanced manufacturing engineering

  • W. Frank Fountain, 57, government affairs

  • Robert Liberatore, 52, external affairs, public policy

  • Carlos Lobo, 52, CEO of New Venture Gear

  • William O'Brien, 58, counsel

  • Bernard Robertson, 58, engineering technologies, regulatory affairs, truck operations

  • DETROIT - The Chrysler group could lose more leaders next month. As many as 10 key executives will decide whether to exercise lucrative financial packages that expire then.

    Only 12 remaining Chrysler group executives were part of a group of 30 who were offered three-year contracts in the November 1998 merger that created DaimlerChrysler. Their packages were designed to cushion against an exodus of talent. They would allow anyone leaving the company at the expiration of those contracts to work for competitors immediately.

    As the Chrysler group braces for tougher times, it can ill afford to have more managers leave. Eighteen of those who were given the contracts have either been fired, have resigned, or have taken early retirement packages that were offered this spring.

    The contracts provide for full retirement benefits at age 55. Eight of the 12 will be 55 or older next month.

    A Chrysler group spokesman confirmed the contracts. But he said new contracts for several of the 12 have superceded the ones made in 1998.

    Among those with new contracts are Thomas Sidlik and Gary Valade, the only two Americans on DaimlerChrysler AG's management board. Sidlik and Valade have contracts as board members until 2003.

    Two of the other executives who had expiring contracts said they would stay aboard: Gary Henson, executive vice president of manufacturing, and Frank Ewasyshyn, senior vice president for advanced manufacturing engineering.

    "I'm not leaving at the end of November," said Henson.

    Ewasyshyn said, "I'm not going anywhere."

    Another spokesman, Ken Levy, said no plan has been developed in anticipation of departures. "We always have succession plans in place," he said.

    "What major company doesn't? Those contracts have not been an issue, and it's not as if there is a hard and fast date that needs to be watched."

    You can reach Diana T. Kurylko at

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