By Bradford Wernle, Automotive News
Tom Sidlik will retire as DaimlerChrysler's global purchasing chief after the automaker's sale to Cerberus Capital Management LP is complete - probably by the end of July.
The move signals the decoupling of joint purchasing operations after the May 14 announcement that the private equity firm Cerberus would buy 80.1 percent of the Chrysler group from DaimlerChrysler AG.
The departure of Peter Rosenfeld as head of Chrysler purchasing was announced in late May. Rosenfeld reported to Sidlik, 57. Simon Boag is replacing Rosenfeld as Chrysler's top purchasing executive.
The writing was on the wall for Sidlik's position after DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche announced Chrysler would be sold. At the time, Zetsche said there would be no board-level purchasing executive after the sale.
As chief of global procurement and supply since December 2003, Sidlik coordinated Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler component purchasing around the world.
Critics said one failing of the 1998 merger of Daimler and Chrysler was that the two companies never found significant parts-sharing economies.
An industry source familiar with DaimlerChrysler purchasing said Sidlik was regarded as "an honest broker" inside the company. In fact, he often was so impartial that both sides became angry at him, the source said. Sidlik had a reputation as a hands-off administrator who let his procurement executives do their jobs.
In a statement, Zetsche said Sidlik's departure was a "mutual and agreeable decision," given the new relationship between the two companies. After completion of the sale, Daimler will retain 19.9 percent of Chrysler.
Sidlik, a native of New Britain, Connecticut, joined Chrysler Corp. in 1980.
From Automotive News (A Crain publication)