DETROIT -- No sooner had he been tapped for two jobs at the new Chrysler Group, one of the automakers top product development executives has left the company.
Andreas Schell, who will be 40 on July 29, had just been named vehicle line executive for Chryslers A/B segment vehicles, the industrys smallest cars.
Since a group led by Fiat S.p.A. took over Chrysler last month, Schell had also been appointed to chief of innovation and pre-program concepts. Executives in Chryslers new matrix management structures hold dual job responsibilities.
Chrysler spokesman Rick Deneau said Schell has left the company but didnt know where he is heading.
Schell, a German, had started his automotive career with Mercedes-Benz. He stayed with Chrysler after Mercedes parent Daimler sold its controlling interest in the U.S. carmaker to Cerberus Capital Management in August 2007.
I have the freedom to choose where I work, and I choose to work here at Chrysler, Schell, who earned his MBA at Michigan State University, told Automotive News in 2007.
Following that decision, Schell played a key role at Chrysler as director of the companys Recovery and Transformation Plan.
Managing the CEO
He had also been senior manager of the office of CEO and president, when Tom LaSorda held those jobs and before Cerberus came on the scene.
In 2004, he led a team of engineers that patented a process for creating hydrogen gas for fuel cells. More recently, he headed Chryslers core electronics engineering.
Colleagues praised him as a well-organized executive who had command of both the big picture and small details.
In the 2007 Automotive News article, then-Chrysler spokesman Mike Aberlich said: Andreas did a good job in figuring out when to be gatekeeper and when to open the gate. He has a lot of support in the company. Hes an energetic individual who has brought a real spirit to everything he touches.
At the time, he said of his job as head of the Chrysler recovery team: I have very good program management skills. I am very qualified to work with that team. I have the right network and relationships to approach those executives and work with them to achieve the targets.
Schell is a student of American culture and had earned his pilots license since moving to the Detroit area. He is also an avid photographer.