Timothy Mahoney, who helped engineer Subaru of America Inc.'s turnaround this decade, will become general marketing manager at Porsche Cars North America Inc.
He succeeds Joel Ewanick, who left Porsche in December to join yacht maker Palmer Johnson Inc.
Mahoney, 42, joined Subaru 15 years ago as a senior research analyst. He has been marketing director for the past three years.
Porsche's choice of Mahoney comes as the sports car maker is preparing to launch its first sport-utility in 2002. But Porsche CEO Fred Schwab downplayed Mahoney's record with Subaru's all-wheel-drive wagons and sedans.
'He has experience launching a new concept, and we're in the process of launching a different concept as well,' Schwab said.
Mahoney, who learned German during his junior year of college as an exchange student, said several of his interviews were in German.
Mahoney and his family will move from Philadelphia, where Subaru is is based, to the Atlanta area, where Porsche has its headquarters. He begins his new job May 24.
Mahoney said he decided in the early 1990s to survey Subaru owners. He learned all-wheel drive was the key reason they bought Subarus. He later persuaded his bosses to focus on awd and stop competing in so many vehicle segments.
Subaru sales have risen steadily since 1996, reaching 147,833 last year, a 10.5 percent jump from 1997.
Mahoney's successor has not been named.