Chrysler Group is getting a new boss.
Tom LaSorda, 51, will take over the top job at Chrysler on Jan. 1, nearly six years after he joined the company and began his dogged effort to improve productivity. LaSorda, currently Chrysler's chief operating officer, will replace president and CEO Dieter Zetsche, who is returning to Germany to head up DaimlerChrysler AG.
LaSorda came to Chrysler after 23 years at General Motors Corp., where he started out in labor relations but eventually became one of the company's top experts in efficient manufacturing.
In 2004, GM had the most efficient North American plants of the Big Three, according to the closely watched Harbour Report, which measures the hours it takes to produce vehicles and parts. At Chrysler, manufacturing productivity has increased nearly 20 percent since LaSorda arrived.