Finbarr O'Neill Resigns From Mitsubishi Motors North America Mitsubishi Motors Executive Rich Gilligan Appointed to President and CEO Position
CYPRESS, Calif., Jan. 4, 2005 -- Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) today announced the resignation of Finbarr O'Neill as President and CEO. O'Neill has accepted a position as President and CEO of Reynolds & Reynolds, located in Dayton, Ohio. Mitsubishi Motors President of Manufacturing Rich Gilligan has been appointed to replace O'Neill as MMNA's President and CEO.
"My decision to leave was a very difficult and personal one," said O'Neill. "I truly believe that Mitsubishi Motors is on the right track and will have a successful turnaround in the North American market. The company has the leadership, people, dealers and products to succeed. We have built a strong foundation for the turnaround of the brand. Mitsubishi is moving in a positive direction."
O'Neill joined Mitsubishi Motors in September 2003. During his tenure, the company's management focused on restructuring and streamlining business operations, eliminating risky retail financing programs, re-establishing stronger dealer relationships, drastically cutting fleet sales to improve residual values, and rebuilding the brand.
"We appreciate Fin's involvement and commitment over the past 16 months," said Osamu Masuko, head of Overseas Operations for Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in Japan. "With his help, we have laid the groundwork for a successful turnaround in North America. We have great confidence in Rich Gilligan's ability to keep the turnaround moving forward."
"I am extremely excited to be assuming the leadership of MMNA at this time," said Gilligan. "With the sales launch of two exciting new vehicles -- the Eclipse coupe and the Raider truck -- in the coming year, Mitsubishi dealers will have the best portfolio of products in our company's history."
Gilligan came to Mitsubishi in December 1998 as Executive Vice President and COO of Manufacturing. He was promoted to President and COO in June 2001. During his tenure, MMNA improved from last to first in the assembly productivity rankings by Harbour and Associates.
Gilligan had a 30-year career with the Ford Motor Company, beginning as a lineworker in 1962. In 1987, he became Assistant Plant Manager in Chicago, then Assistant Plant Manager at the Kansas City Assembly Plant (1988) and Norfolk Assembly Plant Manager (1989), before returning to the Kansas City Assembly Plant from 1990 through the end of 1992 as Plant Manager. Prior to joining MMNA, he was President of House of Lloyd -- a direct sales and marketing company with a sales force of more than 30,000 -- from 1993 through 1998.
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing, research and development operations of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in the United States and Canada. Mitsubishi Motors sells coupes, convertibles, sedans and sport utility vehicles through a network of approximately 650 dealers.