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New hires, promotions in commercial vehicle industry: Summer '23 edition

Sept. 5, 2023
Operations at several companies in the commercial vehicle industry were heating up Summer of 2023 with new hires and promotions.

Here are the latest hirings and promotions in the commercial vehicle industry for Summer 2023.

ASE announces leadership changes

Dave Johnson has been named ASE president and CEO Designate assuming the title and responsibilities of ASE president and CEO on Jan. 1, 2024. Johnson brings over 30 years of automotive industry experience to ASE previously serving as global director of service engineering operations at Ford Motor Company where he led all vehicle repair support activities. A native of Wyoming, Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering technology from Weber State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

“I look forward to working with the great ASE staff to serve our technicians, service providers and car owners and to communicating the amazing mission of ASE. I am honored to take on the mantle of leadership of this important industry organization,” said Johnson.

Cummins names Board of Directors chair

Cummins Inc.'s Board of Directors unanimously elected Cummins President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jennifer Rumsey to Chair of the company’s Board of Directors, effective August 1, 2023. Rumsey succeeds Tom Linebarger, who is retiring from both of his Cummins positions as Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, effective July 31, 2023.

Rumsey was first appointed to the Cummins Board of Directors in February 2022 and has served as President and CEO of the company since August 2022. She has held numerous pivotal roles within the company during her more than two decades with Cummins, including Chief Technical Officer, President of the Components business and Chief Operating Officer. The combined roles of Chair and CEO will position Rumsey to continue leading the company into the future, leveraging her technical expertise, deep understanding of Cummins’ business and powering customers’ success throughout the energy transition. 

“Jennifer’s appointment as Chair comes at a pivotal time for Cummins and the entire industry,” said Linebarger. “Her strategic vision for Cummins, centered on delivering solutions that meet our customers' needs while reducing our impact on the environment, will help lead our company in the transition to a decarbonized future. On a personal note, I am filled with immense pride and gratitude for the privilege of being part of this remarkable company for the past 30 years. I am delighted to pass this role to Jennifer and firmly believe that she is the ideal leader to guide Cummins at this important time.

OptiCat JNPSoft COO has been appointed Co-Chair of the CVSN Technology Committee

The Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network (CVSN) appointed Bryan ThuesonCOO at OptiCat JNPSoftas Co-Chair of the Technology Committee. Thueson has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that arise from leveraging technology. The committee says that Thueson’s expertise in developing and implementing cutting-edge solutions will be instrumental in driving their mission to explore emerging technologies, promote industry standards, and assist in driving the digital transformation within the industry. Thueson will play a vital role in shaping the committee's strategic direction and initiatives.

“We are excited to have Bryan Thueson join our Technology Committee”, said Edward Kuo, CVSN Executive Director. “While all of our committees are still at an early infancy stage, his knowledge in our industry and expertise in technology will undoubtedly set us up well to drive meaningful progress and innovation within the technology pillar of our association. His leadership will allow us to make significant strides in embracing technological advancements for the benefit of our members.”   

Hyzon elects chairman of the board

Hyzon Motors Inc. elected Erik Anderson as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Anderson is the founder and CEO of WestRiver Group, Anderson has vast experience propelling business growth, expanding organizational reach, and securing capital for growth-stage companies. He led four Special Purpose Acquisition Companies in the decarbonization space, seeking to identify impactful companies with scalable solutions to decarbonize the global economy. His accolades include the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award, being named by Goldman Sachs as one of the Top 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, and receiving the Transformative CEO Award by The CEO Forum Group.

“As we look to the future, Erik brings proven experience and capabilities to this position, especially when it comes to driving commercialization, scaling companies, and raising capital," said Parker Meeks, Hyzon’s Chief Executive Officer. "I look forward to working with him to help advance our company’s goals as we continue streamlining our core business units, enhancing our fuel-cell technology, and driving forward our ongoing commercialization.”

Nikola appoints new board member

Nikola Corporation appointed John Vesco to its Board of Directors. With three decades of executive leadership within prominent transportation and supply chain organizations, including Hub Group and Schneider, Vesco will contribute to Nikola's strategic growth initiatives. Graduated from Walsh University in Finance and Business Administration and earned a master's in business administration from Silver Lake College.

"We are thrilled to welcome John Vesco to Nikola's Board of Directors. With his wide-ranging expertise in creating strategic customer relationships, asset management and navigating complex supply chain models, John brings a wealth of knowledge that I am confident will enrich our vision moving forward," said Steve Shindler, chairman of Nikola's Board of Directors. "We look forward to leveraging his insights as we execute our business plan."

Phillips Connect names VP of IT

Sara Wissmueller as joined Phillips Connect as Vice President of Information Technology where she'll play out her strategic vision on how to advance and accelerate company growth by leveraging technology. Sara has repeated success at multiple industry leading organizations, including as vice president of corporate infrastructure for Verizon Connect, formerly Telogis. Her experience in building IT organizations into highly effective and cohesive working groups will bring tangible benefits as Phillips Connect continues to evolve. She obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Systems and Accounting from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters in Business Administration from Marquette University. 

"We are thrilled to welcome Sara to the Phillips Connect team. Her expertise will be instrumental as we continue to introduce innovative solutions to the industry," emphasized Rob Phillips, CEO, and founder. "Her guidance will be key in leading us through an ever-evolving IT landscape."

Phillips Industries announces promotions and restructure

Phillips Industries announced the promotion of Amber White to Vice President of Corporate Marketing. The company says her expertise and forwarding-thinking mindset have propelled Phillips to new heights, as she continually pushes boundaries and challenges industry norms. White’s visionary approach has been instrumental in transforming Phillips’ marketing strategies and reinvigorating its brand image.

Phillips Industries also announced the promotion of Dan Forthoffer to Vice President of Corporate Research and Development after he delivered a universal Rear-VU trailer backup camera solutions for truck-to-trailer connectors with ethernet and CAN bus. Dan has worked to develop solutions that enhance safety, efficiency, and overall performance. With Dan’s promotion, he will expand his role to overseeing global R&D for Phillips’ portfolio of businesses. 

”Listening to our customers is extremely important to us, and we are committed to bringing incredibly innovative solutions forward that benefit our industry," said Rob Phillips, CEO of Phillips. "Dan’s R&D team continues to bring incredibly innovative products to market, and Amber is exceptional at communicating the benefits of our solutions and creating an awareness of the value that they add to a fleet’s bottom line. I’m all about surrounding myself with the most talented and driven leaders in the industry, and Amber and Dan are perfect examples of just that.”

 Tire Group International appoints new CFO and new COO   

Tire Group International appointed a new Chief Financial Officer, Joe Rios, who has over three decades of experience in financial management and strategic planning. Rios has a proven track record of driving financial growth and optimizing operational efficiencies, making him an invaluable addition to the executive leadership team.

Tire Group International appointed a new Chief Operating Officer, Enrique Hernandez, after having served as Senior Director of Operations. Hernandez will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of TGI's extensive distribution network. His knowledge of supply chain management and dedication to delivering outstanding customer service align perfectly with TGI's commitment to excellence.

"We are thrilled to welcome Joe Rios to the TGI family and to have Enrique Hernandez grow from within our organization into the role of COO," said Tony Gonzalez, CEO of Tire Group International. "Their combined leadership experience and industry knowledge will undoubtedly strengthen TGI's position as a global leader in the tire distribution market."   

Volvo Group appoints CFO and executive board member

Mats Backman has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer and a new member of Volvo Group´s Executive Board. Backman has held many senior positions in Swedish industry and has extensive international experience. He has been the Chief Financial Officer for several well-known companies such as Sandvik, Autoliv and Veoneer.

He will take on his new position during the second half of 2023. The exact date is yet to be decided.

Yokohama Development Center America announces new promotion to VP of Research and Development

Yokohama Tire Corporation has promoted Jeremy Kahrs to Vice President of Research and Development at Yokohama Development Center America in North Carolina where he'll take over daily operations at the facility. In his new role, Kahrs will report directly to Jeff Barna, president and CEO of Yokohama Tire Corporation.

Zonar welcomes new COO

Zonar hired Michael Gould as the new Chief Operating Officer. With more than 30 years of experience, Gould most recently served as Senior Vice President and General Manager for technology consulting at Oracle. He is joining Zonar to direct and enhance its operational strategy and grow Zonar’s global reach in key markets. Gould lives in Kirkland, WA with his wife of 26 years and twin sons. He has a Mechanical Engineering bachelors degree from Texas A&M and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

"The industries we serve are at an inflection point, with rapidly changing technologies and moves to digitization, accelerating important changes to address the needs of fleets across the world," said Ian McKerlich, President and CEO at Zonar. "We’re excited to have Mike on our team – his unique mix of transportation industry experience coupled with his experience leading teams to deliver enterprise IT solutions and transformation will help our team advance our mission of enhancing the safety, performance and success of our customers."

EROAD adds to its leadership team

EROAD has bolstered its leadership team with the addition of Tracey Herman as the Executive Vice President of Finance. Herman brings more than 20 years of finance and accounting experience in the technology space and most recently served as chief financial officer at telematics company Coretex, which EROAD acquired in 2021.

Also joining EROAD is Kerynn Holtzman as Vice President of Operations. As a customer-focused leader with more than two decades in strategic planning and implementation in the private and public sectors, Holtzman held previous roles at SkyBitz, IBM and OPIS.

EROAD welcomed Sarah Wicker as their Vice President of Marketing bringing more than 20-years of marketing leadership in the technology and telematics space including prior roles at Lytx and Verizon Connect. 

“The expansion of our U.S. leadership team with highly accomplished and tenured professionals, represents an important milestone for our business," said Akinyemi Koyi, chief innovation officer and president of EROAD North America. "These moves will help fuel our continued growth as we expand our fleet management, compliance, safety, and performance offerings.”

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