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Dana names fourth CEO in 16 months

Time:2018-02-24 08:13Turbochargers information Click:

months Names Dana Fourth


James E. Sweetnam


Dana Holding Corp., Toledo s largest company, announced yesterday that it has chosen a 56-year-old Ohioan as its next chief executive officer, its fourth top executive since January, 2008.

James E. Sweetnam, who lives in suburban Cleveland and is currently an executive with Eaton Corp. of Cleveland, will become president and chief executive officer of the northwest Ohio Fortune 500 firm in early July, Dana said yesterday.

We are very excited that Jim has decided to join the Dana leadership team, Dana Chairman John Devine said in a written statement.

He has a tremendous track record of success internationally. His deep knowledge of our business, especially the commercial vehicle segment, will ensure a brief and smooth transition for him, the statement said.

Mr. Sweetnam most recently was president of Eaton s $2.3 billion global truck group, which manufactures, markets, and sells transmissions, clutches, and drivetrain systems to global truck manufacturers.

When he takes over Dana in July, he will assume day-to-day control of an $8.1 billion global auto-parts company.



The Bentleyville, Ohio, resident did not return a call yesterday seeking comment.

His challenges at Dana will be significant.

The company lost $691 million in the 11 months last year after it emerged from bankruptcy, and it lost $160 million in the first quarter of this year. Its credit rating has diminished further into junk status as it has tried to manage its debt.

Revenue prospects for the Toledo company also are difficult as it wades through the national recession and the financially terrible state of the U.S. auto industry.

Mr. Sweetnam will succeed Mr. Devine, who will continue to serve as the company s executive chairman. Mr. Devine, who became chairman of Dana s board as it was emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year, assumed the firm s top executive post in November when Gary Convis, 65, stepped down after six months as the CEO.

Previously, Mr. Devine also filled Dana s top executive spot from February to April, 2008, after Michael J. Burns stepped down upon Dana s exit from Chapter 11.

Mr. Sweetnam joined Eaton, a $15.3 billion diversified company, in 1997 as vice president and general manager of the company s heavy-duty transmission division, truck. In 2000, he was named vice president-operations, heavy-duty transmission clutch and aftermarket, truck. From 2001 to 2008, he was senior vice president and president, Truck Group.

Prior to joining Eaton, Mr. Sweetnam spent 10 years at Cummins Engine Co., where he served in a variety of significant roles, including president of Cummins Electronics Co. and group managing director of Holset Engineering Co. Ltd., Cummins U.K.-based global turbo charger business.

Details of Mr. Sweetnam s compensation package were not disclosed.

Dana s shares traded relatively flat yesterday, ending the day at $1.40 a share on lower-than-normal volume of 544,000 shares.

Dana spokesman Chuck Hartlage was unable to say yesterday when Dana s board had extended the employment offer to Mr. Sweetnam. The CEO s hiring came after an extensive search, the spokesman said.

We ve had a relationship with Eaton s heavy truck business for years, Mr. Hartlage said, adding that Mr. Sweetnam is to be appointed to Dana s board of directors next month.

Mr. Sweetnam is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, where he received a bachelor of science degree in applied science and engineering, and later received his master s of business administration degree from Harvard University.

He is a board member of the Lubrizol Corp., a specialty chemical company based in Wickliffe, Ohio, and of ideastream, a public service multimedia organization in Cleveland.

Contact Larry P. Vellequette at:lvellequette@theblade.comor 419-724-6091.

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