Notable departures in 2013
Departures in 2013 include ...
The Volkswagen Microbus
After a 63-year run, Volkswagen bade farewell to one of its most enduring and endearing creations: the Microbus. The icon of hippie culture left the United States in 1979 but soldiered on elsewhere, racking up 6.2 million units in total sales.
Carlos Tavares, COO, Renault
The trapdoor opened under Tavares, 55, after he mused that he would like to run General Motors or Ford someday. His consolation prize: the CEO post at PSA Peugeot Citroen.
John Krafcik, CEO, Hyundai Motor America
During Krafcik’s five-year tenure, Hyundai saw its U.S. sales and market share hit record levels, and it weathered a public relations crisis related to overstated mpg numbers. Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai’s U.S. sales boss, is succeeding him as CEO.
Saad Chehab, brand chief, Chrysler and Lancia
Chehab was credited as the creative force behind Chrysler's highly successful Super Bowl commercials, but clashed often with boss Olivier Francois. In November he switched brands and bosses, moving to Maserati.
Henrik Fisker, executive chairman, Fisker Automotive
Fisker resigned in March from the electric-car company he co-founded, citing "major disagreements" with the executive team over business strategy. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in November and by year-end was awaiting a possible sale.
Susan Docherty, head of Chevrolet and Cadillac, Europe
Docherty, 51, retired in September after presiding over a sharp slide in Chevy's European sales and market share. By the end of the year, GM had decided to pull Chevy out of Europe.
David Strickland, administrator, NHTSA
Strickland was a major player in the federal investigation into unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles and focused the agency on advanced crash-prevention features. His resignation in December leaves his successor to deal with high-profile safety investigations, including a probe of Tesla Model S fires.
Jonathan Browning, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America
Browning, 54, spent much of the year in the hot seat at Volkswagen as sales declined and dealers seethed at an uneven product cadence. He was replaced in December by Michael Horn.
J Mays, global design chief, Ford
Mays, 59, announced his retirement after leading Ford's design studios through periods of both blandness and breakthroughs. Among the recent production vehicles bearing Mays' signature are the 2013 Ford Fusion, 2012 Focus, 2011 Fiesta and 2010 Taurus.
U.S. Treasury, shareholder, General Motors
Taxpayers took a loss of $10.5 billion on their investment, but GM is rolling in profits again as a result of their timely aid. And for that, GM CEO Dan Akerson sent them a thank you note on Dec. 9, a day before announcing his departure: "We will always be grateful for the second chance extended to us," he said in a statement, "and we are doing our best to make the most of it."