DETROIT -- George Perry, a veteran of more than 30 years in automotive electronics, is retiring after a decade with Yazaki North America Inc. He will step down as CEO at year's end.
Perry, 64, was the first non-Asian top executive at the Japanese supplier's North American unit. He said that he felt “good” and “unburdened” by his decision to step down. “We've been through an awful lot in this industry. Things look much brighter now.”
“We're more competitive” he told Automotive News. “The team pulled us through and we are a much stronger company. We're more competitive.”
He will be succeeded by Dieter Ehrmanntraut, CEO of Yazaki Europe Ltd.
Before joining Yazaki in January 2000, he served as CEO of Siemens Automotive Corp.
Among his proudest accomplishments was his involvement in every Apollo-program manned lunar landing as part of Grumman Aerospace. After the program ended, he joined Ford Motor Co. in December 1972.
In April 1992, Perry was elected to the board of Siemens Automotive and then appointed CEO in October 1993. He led that company during a period of dynamic growth in the North American market until December 1999.
In January 2000, Yazaki named Perry executive vice president of its Ford Business unit. He was appointed COO in April 2001.
Yazaki North America ranks No. 15 on the Automotive News list of the 150 largest suppliers of parts to automakers in North America, with sales of $2.62 billion in 2008.