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Former auto exec takes wheel at Segway

The company behind the two-wheeled, high-tech Segway Human Transporter names a one-time Subaru of America executive as its president.

The company behind the two-wheeled, high-tech Segway Human Transporter has named a one-time automobile industry executive as its president.

Manchester, N.H.-based Segway said Monday that George T. Muller, former president of Subaru of America, will take over as its president effective May 1. The company's Human Transporter, formerly known as Ginger, made its debut in December with much fanfare.

The Segway HT is a self-balancing, electric-powered transportation device that generated a great deal of buzz while under development and, more recently, on the online auction circuit. Amazon and Segway kicked off an auction in February for three of the devices.

Those auctions closed last month with three six-figure bids.

Part of Muller's job will be to turn that buzz into a real business. According to Segway, Muller will be responsible for building an organization, expanding commercial applications, continuing product innovations and establishing the distribution channels for the company.

From 1993 to 2000, Muller was president at Subaru of America, where he revamped the organization and focused on all-wheel-drive vehicles. In his most recent job, he was an adviser with CMS Private Equity.

"George brings a wealth of experience to Segway," said Segway's chairman and founder, Dean Kamen. "His proven leadership skills and financial and marketing prowess will be a critical asset as Segway starts the creation of a new product category."

Segway is funded by Credit Suisse First Boston Private Equity and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.