American Axle Installs New Execs, Managers

Sept. 15, 2008
New EVP global operations, other changes for drivetrain manufacturer

As it trims domestic capacity and management structure, American Axle & Manufacturing has announced several new assignments in its executive ranks. John J. Bellanti has been elevated from group vice president, Manufacturing Services, Capital Planning & Cost Estimating to a broader role — executive vice president of Worldwide Operations.

American Axle is a designer and manufacturer of driveline and drivetrain systems, and other components and modules, chassis systems and metal-formed products for trucks, SUVs, and passenger cars. Following a 10-week strike earlier this year, the company began the process of closing two domestic manufacturing plants, and eliminating 2,000 hourly workers through buyouts.

About 1,650 hourly workers will remain at three plants in Michigan and New York, with wages reduced by as much as 40%. In addition, the AAM has offered early-retirement packages to about 400 salaried workers.

"As we restructure our business, these new appointments will allow our executive team to concentrate fully on our growth and operational objectives in our core and new markets,” stated American Axle chairman and CEO Richard E. Dauch.

Among other new appointments, Steven J. Proctor was named president of AAM - Asia. His past title had been vice president, Sales & Marketing.

Mark S. Barrett was promoted from executive director of Engineering & Product Development to vice president, Engineering & Product Development. Barrett previously served as executive director,.

Curt S. Howell was appointed vice president, Driveline Full Frame Operations, having been vice president, Global Driveline Operations.

John E. Jerge was appointed vice president, Driveline Pascar Operations; his former role had been as vice president, Human Resources.

Robin Kendrick was named vice president, Driveshaft & Halfshaft Operations; previously he had been general manager, Global Driveshaft & Halfshaft Operations.

Charles B. (Brad) Comeau was promoted from executive director, HR Operations to executive director, Human Resources.

John C. Salter was named executive director, Sales & Marketing. Salter previously served as executive director, Driveline Programs.

Finally, Thomas J. Szymanski was promoted from executive director, Corporate Manufacturing Services UniBody Vehicles Driveline, to executive director, Manufacturing Planning.