Mitsubishi's U.S. manufacturing president, Rich Gilligan, will replace O'Neill.
O'Neill will immediately join Reynolds, of Dayton, Ohio, as president and CEO, the company said. He also will serve on the company's board of directors.
O'Neill, 52, takes over the CEO role from Phil Odeen, who had been acting CEO since Buzz Waterhouse abruptly resigned on July 7, 2004. Odeen remains as Reynolds' chairman.
Mitsubishi promoted Gilligan, 61, to the president and CEO post at Mitsubishi Motors North America. Gilligan had been president of manufacturing in charge of Mitsubishi's assembly plant in Normal, Ill. His most recent job there was to cut 1,200 jobs -- 40 percent of the work force.
O'Neill submitted his resignation to the parent company in Japan on Monday, Jan. 3.
O'Neill came to Mitsubishi from Hyundai Motor America in September 2003 and has faced an uphill battle ever since. Sales declined in double digit figures each month since his arrival, and less than half of the company's dealers are profitable.
Company sources say O'Neill also was upset over the December announcement that the company's long-time ad agency, Deutsch Inc., was going up for review. The sources say that parent company Mitsubishi Motors Corp. made the decision to put Deutsch up for review, and that O'Neill was opposed to that move.
O'Neill's resignation follows that of Ian Beavis, senior vice president of marketing and public relations, on Nov. 24 and Diane Hong, the company's advertising director, on Dec. 31.
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