Covisint names industry veteran to head sales

The auto industry marketplace names Jacqui Dedo, who spearheads the global Ford account at German automotive supplier Robert Bosch, to lead its sales division.

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Covisint, the auto industry's online marketplace and one of the largest e-commerce ventures in the world, on Wednesday named Jacqui Dedo to lead its sales division.

see special report: Head-on collision Dedo, who will join Covisint Dec. 18, spearheads the global Ford account at German automotive supplier Robert Bosch. Before that, she was vice president for North American and South American sales at Bosch Braking Systems.

Covisint, which is expected to handle several hundred million dollars per year in purchasing, is the latest in a spate of initiatives by automakers to harness the power of the Internet. General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Renault and Nissan, along with technology partners Commerce One and Oracle, provided all of the start-up funds for Covisint.

Covisint has had trouble finding candidates to lead the business, which was formed earlier this year and is operating out of temporary headquarters in Southfield, Mich. The company, which is expected to go public sometime in 2001, has faced formidable regulatory, cultural and technical challenges. It is still hunting for a chief executive officer.

But Dedo's appointment may help the company overcome some difficulties, a Covisint executive said. Dedo received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Kettering University in Flint, Mich., and joined Bosch's sales department in 1986. From 1979 to 1986, she held various engineering and related positions with General Motors' Cadillac luxury division.

"Jacqui's appointment will speed our ability to enter 2001 fully prepared to engage our customers and potential customers," Covisint executive Alice Miles said in a statement. "Our intent is to make Covisint available to the broader industry in the coming year. That means being responsive to the multitude of organizations interested in participating with us."