Jim Holden and Carlos Ghosn each have taken on new jobs that place them under intense scrutiny.
Holden, 48, was elevated to president of DaimlerChrysler Corp., the North American operations of parent DaimlerChrysler AG, during a management shake-up on Sept. 24.
Ghosn is the architect of a revival plan to save Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. The two executives are featured speakers Jan. 18 at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit.
Holden had been sales chief of the former Chrysler brands. He replaces Tom Stallkamp, who lost his job when DaimlerChrysler Chairman Juergen Schrempp consolidated power in Stuttgart and pared the management board to 14 members.
Holden worked his way up the former Chrysler Corp.'s sales and marketing ladder in the 1980s and 1990s. He was executive vice president of sales and marketing when Chrysler merged with Daimler-Benz AG in 1998. Holden is a member of DaimlerChrysler's management board.
Holden is the architect of Project 2000, a consolidation of Chrysler-Plymouth dealerships with Jeep-Eagle stores. He also created a revised Five Star program that rewards dealers for quality and customer service standards.
Unlike Holden, who does not plan any massive layoffs at DaimlerChrysler, Nissan's new COO will close five plants in Japan and slash 21,000 jobs globally by 2003.
Ghosn announced his turnaround plan in Tokyo in late October. When he outlined the plan, he did not mince words. 'Nissan is in bad shape,' he said.
Ghosn joined Nissan on June 25. The 45-year-old executive is second-in-command behind CEO Yosh ikazu Hanawa, and is a director on Nissan's board.
He had been executive vice president in charge of general management at Renault, which acquired a 36.8 percent stake in the Japanese company in April. Ghosn also was the architect of Renault's dramatic recovery.