Chrysler began its new life as a private company on Monday with an auto-industry outsider taking the wheel.
Bob Nardelli, who left Home Depot in January after a shareholder rebellion over his outsized pay, was named to head the company, replacing Tom LaSorda, who is taking the No. 2 slot.
Nardelli and LaSorda shared a handshake and posed for pictures during a celebratory event at Chrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills.
"We'll move forward with speed and a renewed focus on meeting the needs of our customers," Nardelli said.
Some wondered what effect Nardelli's hiring would have on ongoing contract talks with the United Auto Workers, but Nardelli was quick to point out Monday that union President Ron Gettelfinger already has been contacted about the executive shake-up at Chrysler.
LaSorda, Chrysler LLC's newly named president and vice chairman, still will be at the forefront of "what could be a landmark negotiating period" not only for Chrysler, but for the auto industry, Nardelli said.