Wednesday 3 July 2013

Navistar appoints GM heavyweight as CFO

Walter G. Borst joins Navistar international Corporation on 1 August in the ‘hot seat’ of executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO). He succeeds Andrew J. Cederoth who has left the company.

Borst, 51, joins Navistar from General Motors, where most recently he was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO) and president of GM Asset Management. He was responsible for managing approximately $85 billion in assets, predominantly for the GM benefits plans.

Prior to that, he spent seven years as GM's treasurer and more than two years as CFO of Adam Opel AG.

"We are pleased to have Walter joining our leadership team as we move through our turnaround and reposition our company for future profitability and long-term success," said Troy Clarke, Navistar's newly appointed president and CEO.

"Walter is a highly qualified executive with broad and deep financial expertise. He has proven himself in a wide array of key financial leadership roles at one of the world's largest vehicle manufacturers, all of which makes him the right person to lead our financial operations and functions going forward," added Clarke.

"I'm excited to be joining Navistar and look forward to helping shape the company's financial and strategic direction for the benefit of its shareholders," said Borst. "I'm confident that Navistar is on the right track under Troy Clarke's leadership and am delighted that I'll have the opportunity to work with him and the rest of the Navistar team."

Borst will report to Clarke and serve on the company's senior leadership team. Borst has served as chairman, CEO and president of GM Asset Management since May 2010. In this role, he has acted as the firm's chief investment officer, responsible for the implementation of the firm's investment process and its overall business strategy.

Previous to this most recent position, he was vice president and treasurer at GM from 2003 to 2010. Borst has also served as CFO of GM's Opel business in Rüsselsheim, Germany, from 2000 to 2002. Prior to that, Borst served in various treasury, controller and financial operating capacities at GM, including director of financial analysis and planning for GM Europe and assistant treasurer.

Borst has been with GM for 33 years. He holds a bachelor's degree in industrial administration from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) and a master's degree in business administration from Stanford University.

His arrival at troubled North American diesel engine and heavy truck maker Navistar marks the latest twist in the company’s saga. Most notably Navistar hit the headlines when a spat developed with Ford Motor Company over the quality and supply of diesel engines for Ford’s F-Series trucks. This spat forced Ford to tap into its European diesel engine technology to enter the diesel engine business in North America, subsequently to make its own vee truck engines at its Chihuahua Engine Plant (CEP).

Cederoth, whose named predictably has been linked to his former boss, Danial Ustian, left the company at end of June. His departure marks the latest management change at the truck and engine maker that seeks to recover from a failed engine strategy.

Cederoth was Navistar’s CFO from September 2009. The company described his resignation was part of a planned transition to a new CFO.

Some might see his loss from the company’s top-level management structure as an opportunity to wipe clean the errors of the past as it makes a bid to sharpen up its business model.

Change was triggered last August when Navistar ousted long-term chief executive Daniel Ustian after his new diesel engine emissions technology humiliatingly failed to win US regulatory approval; it forced Navistar to source engines from rival Cummins and even adopt Cummins’ SCR engine emissions technology.

Navistar named former chief operating officer Troy Clarke in March as the new CEO; he took over after a brief stint by turnaround man Lewis Campbell, who made his name heading up Textron Inc.                                  

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