Cervone returns to DaimlerChrysler as VP, Rossi quits citing lack of global role

DETROIT: Eighteen months after leaving for General Motors, Tony Cervone is returning to DaimlerChrysler to become VP communications for the Chrysler Group. Cervone had been executive director of corporate communications at GM.

DETROIT: Eighteen months after leaving for General Motors, Tony Cervone is returning to DaimlerChrysler to become VP communications for the Chrysler Group. Cervone had been executive director of corporate communications at GM.

DETROIT: Eighteen months after leaving for General Motors, Tony Cervone is returning to DaimlerChrysler to become VP communications for the Chrysler Group. Cervone had been executive director of corporate communications at GM.

At DaimlerChrysler, Cervone will report to Jim Holden, president & CEO.

Cervone had worked at Chrysler from 1985 until leaving for GM in 1999.

His return to Daimler follows the departure of Steve Rossi, VP global communications Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge.

Rossi left because he wanted a more global role than DaimlerChrysler offered. 'More and more I was becoming specifically the Chrysler guy,' he said.

Rossi had joined the company last year from Mercedes-Benz USA in Montvale, NJ, to oversee all the former Chrysler brands.

Observers of the Detroit PR scene said Rossi's unhappiness at DaimlerChrysler had been evident for some time. He joined the company at a difficult time.

Daimler's takeover caused an exodus of former Chrysler PR people, including Cervone, who followed his old boss, Steve Harris, to GM.

The PR role, which at Chrysler had been highly proactive, also may have come in question under Daimler, some observers believe.

'Clearly the organization needs to perk itself up from a PR standpoint,' said The Detroit Bureau auto writer Paul Eisenstein. Cervone 'knows Chrysler; I think he knows how to make it tick. The challenge he faces depends on how much you believe all the negative publicity' about how Daimler has clapped down on its American managers, he said.

Cervone's return means that all three major Detroit automakers now have PR heads who once worked for Chrysler. Cervone and Ford's Jason Vines both worked under Harris while he was at Chrysler and are considered disciples of his proactive PR style





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