Tom Chambers has been named president and chief operating officer of Metaldyne effective immediately, the company announced yesterday. He will report to Timothy Leuliette, who remains chairman and CEO. Leuliette was previously chairman, president and CEO.

In his new role, Chambers will oversee day-to-day operations at Metaldyne's 38 global facilities. He was previously president, powertrain group, where he was responsible for all functions of the group's business including plant operations, financial performance and sales. He will continue to head the powertrain group on an interim basis.

This organisational change is precipitated by Metaldyne's agreement to be acquired by Asahi Tec, a Japan-based chassis and powertrain component supplier in the passenger car/light truck and medium/heavy truck segments. When the Asahi Tec transaction is completed, Leuliette will become co-chairman with Shoichiro Irimajiri, the current chairman of Asahi Tec, and also will become co-CEO of the combined companies.

"With these added responsibilities, it makes prudent business sense to appoint a strong leader and mentor to manage Metaldyne's daily operations. This will allow me the time to focus on the integration of these two great companies," Leuliette said.

Under the Asahi Tec transaction Metaldyne will operate separately and keep its name. Chambers will oversee that business.

Reporting to Chambers will be Joe Nowak, executive vice president and president, Chassis Group; Jim Hudak, managing director, Asia Pacific, and Steve Dickerson, interim vice president, quality and Six Sigma, as well as yet-to-be named vice president of finance and Brooke Matthews, manager of facilities.

Chambers has held a variety of positions in the automotive industry including president of Piston Automotive; managing director of operations, Americas for GKN; president of electrical systems and general manager of brake and chassis product lines for the Americas for ITT Industries. From 1962-1992 he held numerous positions within General Motors including managing director of General Motors France.