DETROIT — Carla Bailo, a mobility expert and former executive at Nissan North America, will become CEO of the Center for Automotive Research this fall.
Bailo will succeed Jay Baron, who has led the Ann Arbor, Mich., center since founder Dave Cole retired in 2010. Her appointment will be effective following a "coordinated transition" with Baron, who will remain as chairman, CAR said.
"Now is the ideal time for Carla Bailo to become CAR's next Chief Executive Officer," Baron said in a statement Friday. "With her proven credentials in leading research and development and her expertise in mobility, Carla is the perfect individual to guide our organization through unprecedented changes in our industry."
Bailo has been assistant vice president for mobility research and business development at Ohio State University since 2015. She also is the 2016-18 vice president of automotive for engineering organization SAE International.
Bailo had a nearly 25-year career at Nissan, serving most recently as senior vice president of research and development. In that position, she was responsible for vehicle engineering and development operations in Michigan, Arizona, Mexico and Brazil, overseeing a $500 million budget and 2,500 employees.
Prior to that, she worked at General Motors for 10 years in a variety of departments, including product development, program management, quality, and product planning and profitability.
At Ohio State, Bailo helped coordinate the university's involvement in Smart Columbus, a $140 million program developing new transportation offerings in the region.
"Considering the disruption in the industry today, CAR is well poised to research and support our industry and government partners in all areas of mobility," Bailo said in the CAR statement announcing her appointment. "I have been involved with CAR for several years while working in the industry and am very much looking forward to working with such a talented team as well as leading CAR through the new era of mobility."