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Chrysler snags longtime Toyota exec

First non-Japanese person appointed to Toyota's board of directors leaves to become a vice chairman and president at Chrysler.

Jim Press
Jim Press leaving Toyota for Chrysler

Chrysler has named Jim Press as a president and vice chairman, CEO Robert Nardelli said Thursday.

Press, former president of Toyota Motor North America, was the first non-Japanese person to be appointed to Toyota's board of directors in the company's history. He was appointed to the board in June, after working at Toyota for 37 years.

Press' resignation from Toyota is effective September 14. That same day, Shigeru Hayakawa, the current Toyota Motor North America vice president and managing officer, will become president, according to Toyota.

Press leaves Toyota to serve under Chrysler's Nardelli, alongside Tom LaSorda, who is also a vice chairman and president at Chrysler.

"Part of my new responsibilities will be strengthening and energizing the dealer body. This is something I was passionate about at Toyota and will be passionate about at Chrysler," Press said in a statement.

Press will be responsible for "North American and international sales, global marketing, product strategy, and service and parts" for Chrysler, while LaSorda will be responsible for "manufacturing, procurement and supply, employee relations and global business development and alliances."