Donnelly Corp. has shipped four top executives to Europe in a major shake-up of its business here.
Donnelly Corp. fired its COO for European operations, Hans Huber. Huber, a former TRW Inc. official in Europe, had been on the job for a year.
Huber will be replaced in Germany by John Donnelly, 46, senior vice president of corporate business development and marketing. He is the grandson of company founder Bernard Donnelly.
'We have to have a strong, healthy European unit,' said spokesman Randy Boileau, from Donnelly's headquarters in Holland, Michigan. 'And there isn't any more time to waste on this.'
The focus of the turnaround efforts will be Donnelly Hohe GmbH & Co., a mirror maker in Collen-berg, Germany. Donnelly acquired Hohe in 1995.
Donnelly is also struggling to straighten out Donnelly Mirrors Ltd. in Naas, Ireland. That acquisition also has been plagued with quality problems.
Boileau said some European operations still have not shifted to its Donnelly Production System - a lean production system - that the company has been putting in place in its plants throughout the world.
Some European plants are profitable.
They include Donnelly Euroglass Systems in Langres, France, which makes modular windows, and Donnelly Hohe plants in Spain and Germany.
The other management changes:
Maryam Komejan will continue as senior vice president for corporate administration, but will devote more time to personnel and information-technology issues in Europe. She will divide her time between Donnelly's US headquarters and the European operation.
Russ Scaffede will continue as senior vice president for global manufacturing operations, but will transfer to Germany. He will focus on lean manufacturing.
Ron Winowiecki, corporate controller, will assume responsibility for Donnelly's finance operations in Europe. He will move to Germany.
In the fiscal year ended 27 June, Donnelly earned $13 million, up 30 percent from fiscal 1997.
Donnelly's total sales for the 1998 fiscal year were $763.3 million, up 14 percent.