By David Barkholz, Automotive News
Detroit, Michigan-Frank Macher formally resigned today as ceo of Collins & Aikman Corp., two months after his role changed from trying to bring the company out of bankruptcy to overseeing the sale of the company in pieces.
The 30-year Ford Motor Co. veteran took charge of Collins & Aikman shortly after the auto supplier's May 2005 bankruptcy filing. He kept shipping parts as Collins & Aikman's automotive customers infused nearly $200 million in loans and price increases to prop up the company during a cash crisis.
Collins & Aikman is one of North America's largest interiors suppliers and has parts on most vehicles made in North America.
The breakup of the company is under way. Cerberus Capital Management LP is the lead bidder for Collins & Aikman's soft-trim business. The unit, including carpeting, posted sales of about $750 million in 2005.
The investment-banking company Lazard Ltd. also has placed bids for Collins & Aikman's plastics business. The hard-trim business posted revenue of about $2 billion in 2005.
No CEO post
The position of president and ceo will be replaced by the office of chairman, which will consist of chairman Steve Cooper and the following six members of the senior management team:
John Boken, chief restructuring officer.
Stacy Fox, executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel.
Millard King, president, soft-trim operations.
Tim Trenary, cfo
Mary Ann Wright, executive vice president of engineering.
James Wynalek, president of plastics operations.
In the last few weeks before his resignation, Macher became an outspoken advocate for better relations between suppliers and the Detroit 3.
In October, he said suppliers should have a bill of rights with their automaker customers. He said automakers should not pay less than cost for parts and said they should be penalized when they exaggerate anticipated production volumes.
Macher also got into a high-profile spat with customer Ford Motor when Collins & Aikman briefly interrupted parts shipments for one shift to Ford's Fusion sedan plant in Hermosillo, Mexico.
Before joining Collins & Aikman, Macher guided Federal-Mogul Corp. in bankruptcy. Macher also worked at Ford for 30 years before retiring in 1996. His last job at Ford was running the auto parts operations that were spun off to create Visteon in 2000.
In 2005, Macher nearly returned to Ford to run former Visteon plants taken back by Ford as part of a bailout of the supplier.
Collins & Aikman, of Southfield, Michigan, ranks No. 54 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with original-equipment automotive parts sales of $2800 million in 2005. "