It hasn’t taken long for VW’s truck arm, Traton to impose its will on its latest acquisition, Navistar. Just over a month after Traton took 100 per cent ownership of Navistar, it has announced that CEO Persio Lisboa, who has been CEO for just over a year, will leave the role and his job will be taken over Scania executive, Mathias Carlbaum, who will take over as CEO of Navistar International on the 1st September.
The Navistar board announced appointment of the 48 year old Carlbaum (48) this week signifying that Traton is set to put the broom through Navistar and knock the company into shape after years of rollercoaster results in a boom or bus cycle that has often seen the venerable truck maker testing on the edge of bankruptcy.
The 55 year old Lisboa was seen as a salve to the Traton board, following the departure of previous one serving CEO Troy Clarke, who had been in the top role at the company since 2013, riding out many of the crisis that beset the truck maker.
Lisboa has been with Navistar for 35 years and in his recent roles as COO and CEO, he was instrumental in returning Navistar to profitability and launching and executing a solid strategy called Navistar 4.0. Now after a short transition phase, Lisboa will retire.
Mathias Carlbaum was executive vice president commercial operations at Traton subsidiary Scania where the Swedish national has enjoyed a long and successful management career with extensive experience in sales and international markets.
Since April this year Carlbaum has led the post-merger management of Navistar on behalf of Traton.
Traton’s CEO a Matthias Gründler said Carlbaum is an internationally experienced manager with the right skills and mindset to lead Navistar into this new era as part of Traton Group.
“I am welcoming Mathias in his new responsibility and a great thanks goes to Persio Lisboa for his great support before, during and after the merger,” Gründler said.
In a further demonstration of its desire to take control of its new and vital subsidiary, the Traton Group board also announced Navistar’s board has appointed an executive board, which becomes effective from 1st September.
Along with Carlbaum, the new Navistar executive board will be made up of five other members.
Navistar’s current CFO, Walter Borst will be a part of the executive in the interim till he is scheduled to retire on 1st January next year. Borst’s role will eb taken over by at the start of 2022 by Do Young Kim, who was the project lead o0n Traton’s highly successful and massive IPO in 2019 as well as working on the Navistar takeover during the past three years.
In another example of the Volkswagen Group’s aim to totally change the management mindset at Navistar, it has also announced that current Traton chief technical officer, Michael Grahe, has become Navistar’s new head of operations, covering areas of product development and procurement.
Navistar’s current president of operations, Phil Christman, will remain at Navistar until March next year, overseeing its Mexican and Brazilian operations.
Navistar’s current HR boss Donna Dorsey will retain responsibility for people and culture in the new organisation while fellow Navistar colleague Friedrich Baumann remains responsible for sales, marketing and aftersales and Mark Hernandez has been appointed to the executive board, and remains responsible for manufacturing.
Traton or VW Commercial as it was at the time, first became involved with Traton in September 2016 when under the control fo then CEO Andreas Renschler the German controlled company entered into a strategic alliance with Navistar, in which it held an 18 per cent chareholding.
The acquisition of Navistar was a strategy of Renschler, who had previously masterminded Daimler’s purchase of Freightliner, Western Star and Detroit Diesel, which made Daimler the biggest truck operation in North America.
When Renschler left Daimler for rival VW the plan was always to create a global truck business that would rival that of his previous employer. T
At the start of 2020, Traton, submitted an initial offer to acquire all of the ordinary shares in Navistar. and despite Renschler’s departure mid-way through 2020, the long winded project to acquire Navistar saw a binding agreement signed in November last year. It only came after Traton was able to win over several recalcitrant major shareholders who held out for a higher price and delayed the purchase process.
While Traton refers to the deal as being a merger, the reality is that it was an acquisition with Traton taking 100 per cent ownership after buying out every shareholder, with the deal being concluded on 1st July when Navistar was delisted and became a wholly owned unit of the Traton Group .