Federal-Mogul Corp. has chosen Jose Maria Alapont as its new president and chief executive officer, and the decision has been authorized by the federal court presiding over the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
Mr. Alapont, who had been CEO and a member of the board of Iveco S.p.A.-the commercial vehicle company of Italy's Fiat Group-replaces Robert Miller, who was serving as Federal-Mogul's interim CEO and will continue as chairman of the Southfield-based company's board. Mr. Alapont also joins the board.
Mr. Alapont brings to Federal-Mogul more than 30 years of leadership experience in both the automotive manufacturer and supplier industries, Federal-Mogul said. As Iveco's chief executive, he ran one of the world's largest manufacturers in the transport sector and during his tenure the firm consistently achieved profitable sales growth and efficiency gains, Federal-Mogul added.
Mr. Alapont said the company is well positioned for success ``given its commitment to technology, engineering excellence and innovation in addition to its broad product offerings and trusted brands.''
Carl Icahn, Federal-Mogul's largest bondholder who participated in the search process for the new CEO, said he believes ``a man with Mr. Alapont's record and experience will prove to be a vital addition to Federal-Mogul and will help Federal-Mogul reach its great potential.''
A native of Spain, Mr. Alapont began his automotive career at Ford Motor Co. in 1974. He also worked at automotive supplier S.A. Valeo, before joining Delphi Automotive Systems, serving there in a number of top positions from 1997 to 2003.
The firm's new CEO possesses every one of the characteristics the company requires, Mr. Miller said: ``dynamic leadership skills, broad global automotive experience, a vast knowledge of technology and strong customer relationships.''