DETROIT - MSX International Inc., an automotive staffing and design-and-engineering giant, has rearranged its top management.
MSX has reassigned the only president in its 18-month history. And it has brought in two high-level executives from outside.
MSX President and COO Ralph Miller now will operate as special assistant to the chairman of the board. Divisional presidents will be Roger Fridholm, former president and COO at the Stroh Brewery Co., and John Risk, a 33-year veteran at Ford Motor Co.
MSX Chairman Bill Billig, a longtime MascoTech Inc. executive, adds the title of CEO.
MSX, meanwhile, also has filed plans with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to put $100 million in senior debt notes on the market. MSX first filed for the private placement April 9, but then filed an amendment June 1 announcing the management changes. MSX, of Auburn Hills, Mich., is expected to hold a public stock offering in the next few years.
MSX supplies engineers, designers and other contract-staffing services to the auto industry. The private company was created in 1996 by combining an engineering division of MascoTech Inc. with APX International.
The disclosure paints MSX as a $1 billion company that lost money in 1997 and is 'highly leveraged,' by its own definition.
It also is heavily dependent on Ford. MSX reported 1997 sales of $985.1 million; 72 percent, or about $710 million, was from Ford, according to the SEC filing. MSX has about 12,000 employees worldwide.
The reliance on Ford will be one area Fridholm expects to address.
'My mandate is for us to grow as fast as possible. In order to meet our growth objective, we'll certainly have to do more non-Ford work,' said Fridholm, named president of MSX's business, technology and staffing services division.
Fridholm is being put in charge of nearly 80 percent of MSX's business.
Fridholm said he also will oversee the integration of Geometric Results Inc., a $500 million technical staffing division of Ford acquired by MSX in August 1997.
Risk will oversee the company's product development service division. Risk was a director of Ford's Taurus/Sable program and oversaw the automaker's European and U.S. small-car programs.
He said his job is to expand MSX's international business.
Fridholm and Risk essentially will take over Miller's previous duties, said Murem Sharpe, MSX vice president of corporate marketing and business development. She said Miller was not being demoted.