Think North America Vice Chairman Richard Canny is resigning his position with the Norwegian-based electric car maker effective at the end of the month.
“It's been an exciting two and a half years ... but it's time for me to move on to a new adventure and challenge,” Canny said in an e-mail exchange with Automotive News Europe. “It's certainly been a rewarding period to be in the electric vehicle business and I'm glad that I'm leaving the company closer to its vision.”
Canny transitioned to vice chairman of the company's North American operations from CEO of Think Global SA in September 2010. Barry Engle succeeded Canny as Think's top executive. He will take over Canny's duties at the company.
Both Canny and Engle are former Ford Motor Co. executives.
Canny, 49, arrived at Think in August 2008 to be its chief operating officer. In less than three months he was promoted to CEO.
During his time with the company, Think was rescued from collapse; shut its production plant in Aurskog, near Oslo, Norway; started production for Europe in Finland with contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive; resumed European sales; refurbished a U.S. plant in Elkhart, Indiana; started output for the North American market; and announced plans to open new product development and engineering facilities in Oslo.
When asked to comment on Think's rise from near collapse to producing vehicles on two continents Canny told ANE: “Think has made some great progress and while there is still plenty of work to be done, I look back on having re-shaped the company as one of the more rewarding roles in my career.”
Canny said that he will return to United States this week and after a bit of unwinding he plans to visit family in his native Australia next month.
"While I have some ideas and opportunities I have been considering for my next steps, I've decided to take a short break to refresh my perspectives on career directions and sharpen my focus on the types of roles I may take," he told ANE.
He added that he remains a significant equity holder in Think, “so I wish them every success and will be cheering them on from the sidelines.”
During his more than 25 years in the automotive industry, Canny served as Ford's worldwide director of strategic planning, president of Ford South America, president of Ford Argentina and managing director of Ford Malaysia.