Melrose, a UK turnaround specialist, acquired the British engineering company GKN in March in a hostile takeover. The division that Butterworth will lead is made up of GKN Driveline and GKN ePowertrain.
Butterworth, 47, started his career at Lucas Industries and TRW before joining FCI Group in 2000. He became president and general manager of the motorized vehicles division at FCI in 2009. He moved to Delphi Automotive in 2012 when Delphi acquired the FCI business.
Butterworth was named president of Delphi's powertrain business in 2014 and in 2017 became CEO and president of Delphi Technologies when it was spun off as a separately listed company. Delphi Automotive is now known as Aptiv.
Delphi Technologies will be led in in the interim by Hari Nair, a director at Delphi since the spinoff. The company cut its full-year revenue forecast to flat from 2 percent to 4 percent, and its operating margin to 11.3 to 11.5 percent from 12.1 percent to 12.3 percent. The share price has fallen 41 percent since the spinoff. Nair has previously worked with Tenneco and General Motors.
Delphi ranks No. 58 on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $3.9 billion in 2017.
The decision in May 2017 to divide the company into two entities, Delphi Technologies, which focuses on powertrains, and Aptiv, which will concentrate on future technologies such as autonomous driving, came as a surprise to the automotive supplier world. But since then, a number of major suppliers, including Continental, have either spun off or sold divisions that do not align with their long-term strategies.
Butterworth had expressed optimism in a recent interview with Automotive News Europe about the future of Delphi Technologies. But he acknowledged that investors needed to be convinced that the company was not a legacy business that was no longer of strategic importance.
GKN, which makes automotive and aerospace components, including for the British military, had tried to fend off Melrose by offering to spin off its automotive division. But a possible sale to Dana did not materialize, and investors narrowly approved GKN's bid at the end of March. Its automotive components include all-wheel-drive systems and integrated electric axles, largely for premium automakers, such as BMW, Volvo and Land Rover.