Top Chrysler comms exec steps down

AUBURN HILLS, MI: Chrysler LLC today announced the resignation of Jason Vines, VP of communications, and the restructuring of its corporate communications department.

AUBURN HILLS, MI: Chrysler LLC today announced the resignation of Jason Vines, VP of communications, and the restructuring of its corporate communications department.

"Now that Chrysler is an independent company again, we are taking every opportunity to realign functions in a more holistic manner that allows us to more effectively drive company strategy," said Bob Nardelli, chairman and CEO in a statement. "As part of this realignment, the corporate communications function will now report to Nancy Rae, SVP - human resources."

David Barnas, a six-year veteran of the corporate communications department will now be responsible for internal and corporate communications, which includes dealing with the news media.
While Chrysler offered no official reason for why its top communications official was resigning, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the resignation, which is effective immediately, is the result of differences between him and Nardelli. Vines agreed to stay on until the end of December to help with the transition.

Chrysler became a private company back in May when Cerberus Capital Management bought an 80.1% stake in the company from Daimler-Chrysler. On the New York Times Web site today the paper reported the restructuring of the communications staff may be an effort to pull back on the "public profile the company had as a publicly-owned company."

Vines' announcement follows that of Mike Aberlich, Chrysler's director, corporate and internal communications, who also announced last week that he would be retiring at the end of this year.

We recently spoke to Vines about the effect the 12,000 layoffs Chrysler announced in November would have on the automaker's communications department.

Look for more on Vines' departure in this week's issue of PRWeek.

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