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Former Chrysler boss LaSorda picked to run Fisker

Things are ramping up for Fisker Automotive, as the production version of their Fisker Karma is reaching buyers around the world with more vehicles are expected to join the Karma in the company’s lineup and today came the first major management change as former Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda has been hired to fill the roles of CEO and Vice Chairman of the Board for Fisker Automotive.

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Previously, the brain behind the brand and company founder Henrik Fisker served as the Chief Executive Officer of the company but with Tom LaSorda’s appointment as CEO and Vice Chairman of the Board, Mr. Fisker will now take the title of Executive Chairman of Fisker Automotive.

“We have created a new automotive company, launched a new Electric Vehicle extended range technology and brought the Fisker Karma to market successfully in a remarkably short timeframe,” says Henrik Fisker. “The Fisker Karma is the first car designed and engineered in America to win BBC Top Gear’s prestigious Luxury Car of the Year Award, as well as numerous other accolades, and that is something of which I am immensely proud. I am looking forward to working closely with Tom as we steer the company into its future as an iconic global automotive brand with a range of desirable cars that offer environmentally responsible luxury.”

Before moving to this position with Fisker, LaSorda had been serving as the Vice President of the Board for the super-green luxury automaker since December. Before joining the Fisker team late last year, LaSorda spent almost ten years with the Chrysler Group, serving as the CEO of company through what were arguably some of the most difficult years in the automaker’s proud history. LaSorda joined Chrysler in 2000 as a Senior Vice President but was promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 2004. On January 1st 2006, LaSorda was named the new CEO of Chrysler when previous boss Dieter Zetsche was moved from Chrysler CEO to the CEO of the Daimler Chrysler Group. LaSorda would oversee the company through the demerger between Daimler and the Chrysler Group but when new parent company Cerberus Capital Management took over, they appointed Bob Nardelli the new CEO and demoted LaSorda to the position of President and Vice Chairman of Chrysler LLC. LaSorda’s next big task was finding interested parties who wanted a piece of the Chrysler Group and the Fiat group – run by LaSorda’s close friend Sergio Marchionne – swooped in and helped bring Chrysler to the strong position where they are today. LaSorda, however, opted to retire from the Chrysler Group on May 1st 2009 even though he was asked to stay on with the new Chrysler.

“I am delighted to be assuming such a central role at this exciting time in Fisker Automotive’s history, says LaSorda. “The Fisker Automotive team has designed and engineered a great range-extended electric car with industry leading technology and it gives me great pleasure to be working together with the co-founders, Henrik Fisker and Barny Koehler to build Fisker Automotive into a global automotive company. As part of our future strategy, we will be seeking strong partnerships and alliances as Fisker continues to grow as a brand.”

In his position as the CEO of Fisker, LaSorda will be responsible for overseeing day to day operations and all other CEO responsibilities. Henrik Fisker will now have someone to handle some of the added load as the company expands their reach and model lineup; while also working to make sure that the company stays true to its roots.

These moves within the Fisker Automotive management team are effective immediately.

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Aaron Turpen    February 29, 2012 - 6:35AM

This could be good or bad. Fisker is in a position where this is likely a good move, bringing in someone who's an auto industry and manufacturing veteran. But bringing in auto execs for Aptera basically ruined the company before it'd really gotten started.