Joltin' Joe Eberhardt has left the building folks. Seriously — he's no longer at the Tech Center in Auburn Hills. The main marketing and sales man for the 'merican side of the German-American hybrid, according to a statement released today by the company:
"will be leaving the company in order to return to automotive retailing within the Mercedes-Benz network in the United States. The Senior Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents of Sales, Marketing, International and Service will report directly to LaSorda until further notice."Although we're not saying we had anything to do with this obviously not-by-his own-choice move (because you know, who really goes "down and to the left" and leaves at the close of business of their own accord?) — because then you would be ignoring the part about how Eberhardt had a total performance-suck since taking over the job. But then again, if he hadn't blown total goat, we'd have had no reason to make fun of him — well, except for the weird accent. Full press release after the jump.
Chrysler Group's Eberhardt to Return to Automotive Retailing
Auburn Hills, Mich., Dec 5, 2006 -
Chrysler Group President and Chief Executive Officer Tom LaSorda today announced that Joe Eberhardt, Executive Vice President-Global Sales, Marketing and Service, will be leaving the company in order to return to automotive retailing within the Mercedes-Benz network in the United States. The Senior Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents of Sales, Marketing, International and Service will report directly to LaSorda until further notice.
"Joe brought a much-needed discipline to our sales, marketing and service organizations when he arrived in the summer of 2003," said LaSorda. "Being back in the retail world is something he has talked about for some time now, and having a proven track record in that arena, makes it a natural."
Eberhardt joined Mercedes-Benz in Germany in 1982 as a student in a work-study program. In the early 1990s, he left the corporate environment and became General Manager of Mercedes-Benz Manhattan, turning it into one of the most successful dealerships in the country.
He returned to Mercedes-Benz in 1995 and, in 1999, was named President and CEO of DaimlerChrysler UK Ltd., where Eberhardt more than doubled sales and improved dealer profitability in a stagnant market.
"Joe's deep understanding of the automotive industry and his proven leadership will continue to serve the Company well as he moves back to the retail side," said Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management DaimlerChrysler/ Head of Mercedes Car Group.
Eberhardt was born in Stuttgart, Germany, on August 26, 1963. He received his BA and MS degrees in Germany, and earned his Masters of Business Administration degree at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business in 1992.
Chrysler Group's Marketing Man Makes You Wonder: "Hey Joe, Is It Time To Go?"; All of our Joe Eberhardt coverage [internal]