DETROIT (Dec. 15, 2008) — John Campi, Chrysler's purchasing chief who pushed for low-cost parts from Asia, told suppliers late Dec. 12 that he had resigned, effective that day. He cited health problems.
Chrysler named Scott Garberding, 44, to replace Campi. Garberding joined Chrysler in 1996. Most recently, he had been vice president of global alliance operations.
Campi, 64, joined Chrysler in January, calling for close cooperation with suppliers.
"My suppliers are not my enemies. My suppliers are my partners," he said in an interview at the time.
But he quickly gained a reputation as a blunt, sometimes abrasive executive. Chrysler launched a series of lawsuits against suppliers.
His strategy of sourcing more components from Asia hit some snags. This year Chrysler awarded a seat contract for the 2010 Jeep Wrangler to an Indian seat supplier, Krishna Maruti Ltd. Now Chrysler has dropped the Indian company and reopened the bidding for the seats.
Campi, a well-traveled executive, had been procurement chief at Home Depot, where he worked for Bob Nardelli, now Chrysler L.L.C.'s CEO, during Nardelli's tenure as chairman. Campi also had worked with Nardelli during the 1990s at General Electric's Power Systems unit.
He was considered a guru of supply chain management.
Critics in the auto supplier community question whether Campi understood the difference between sourcing engineered parts for a complex vehicle and commodities sold at Home Depot.