A decision appears to be weeks away in the search for a CEO of Covisint.
Peter Weiss, a temporary co-CEO on the Covisint planning team, said Covisint hopes a decision is made before Thanksgiving - about a month later than he had estimated in September.
Dan Jankowski, a Covisint spokesman, said: 'The process is still ongoing, and no final decision has been made. We're expecting a resolution to it in the near future.'
The selection process is being handled by Harold Kutner, General Motors group vice president of worldwide purchasing; Brian Kelley, Ford Motor Co. president of ConsumerConnect; and Gary Valade, DaimlerChrysler Corp. executive vice president of global procurement.
Covisint's selection for CEO could signal whether the electronic marketplace intends to be a procurement engine that will emphasize auctions to drive down the cost of parts, or a collaboration tool that will use collaborative techniques to weed out costs throughout the supply chain, said Kevin Prouty, senior research analyst at AMR Research in Boston.
'The selection of CEO is going to show which vision they have,' Prouty said. 'I think that is what's taking them so long. The other thing is, this is an extraordinarily daunting job.'
Covisint wants a CEO from outside the automotive industry.
The CEO will be asked to manage the world's largest electronic marketplace, which still is in the building process, has five automakers with an equity stake, has two fierce rivals providing the technology foundation, and a supplier community that still has doubts about its intentions.
'It's a monumental task,' Prouty said. 'I think it will limit the number of people that will want to do it, and it is going to limit the number of people that are capable of doing it.'
W. Daniel Garretson, senior analyst at Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., said it is a difficult search.
'Covisint needs someone with the stature and ability to bring all the parties together and not be perceived as partisan,' Garretson said.
Covisint, the online trade exchange created by Ford, GM and DaimlerChrysler, went live in early October.