AUBURN HILLS, Mich.—While Larry Williams doesn't hold the CEO title, he's definitely the official in charge at Henniges Automotive Holdings Inc.
Williams was named president and chief financial officer in April, making him the top guy at the automotive sealing supplier a little more than three months after he replaced outgoing CEO Doug DelGrosso. Williams had held the interim CEO tag from Jan. 1 until his permanent appointment was made.
The executive has been with Henniges for the last 15 years, most recently as CFO. He began his career in 1988 with Federal-Mogul, and there he gained experience in a number of different regions—Germany, Indiana, Arkansas and California before finally returning home to Michigan.
Williams also served as interim CEO from November 2011 until DelGrosso's appointment in 2012. When he began working with DelGrosso, he said his experience was mainly rooted in finance, turnaround situations, and restructuring or operationally improving the business. He credits DelGrosso for helping him expand his role.
“He knew ultimately my goal was to become a CEO someday,” Williams said. “He knew I had been doing the role for the last 10 months and expanded my traditional finance role within Henniges. I picked up purchasing; I picked up IT as well, allowing me to be involved in virtually all aspects of the business that he was involved in. I sat in all of his meetings, went to customers with him, so he was mentoring and preparing me to take over the role.
“I really hadn't in my career had the opportunity to have meetings with customers outside of going in a financial role and assuring the customer that we were a financially healthy company. I really wasn't in more of a commercial discussion with customers, and Doug helped me bridge that gap.”