Next Autoworks Company - Formerly V-Vehicle - Announces New CEO

Oct 12, 2010, 16:20 ET from Next Autoworks Company

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of Next Autoworks Company (formerly V-Vehicle Company) has named veteran auto executive Kathleen Ligocki as Chief Executive Officer.  Kathleen previously served as CEO of Tower Automotive and GS Motors and led several global divisions of Ford Motor Company.  Her appointment as CEO is effective October 11 and she will also join the Next Autoworks Board of Directors.  She replaces Interim CEO Ray Lane, who will continue in his role as Chairman of the Board.

During Kathleen's more than 20 years in the automotive industry, she has served as the CEO of two large companies:  GS Motors, the auto business of Grupo Salinas, the Mexico-based conglomerate with strengths in retail and banking, and as President and Chief Executive Officer of Tower Automotive, a global Fortune 1000 automotive supplier.  At Tower, she led the company through a successful restructuring process that culminated in the sale of the company for $1 billion to Cerberus Capital Management.

Previously, as a corporate officer with Ford Motor Company, Kathleen led several of Ford's major operations:  the global Customer Service Division; Ford of Mexico; Ford of Canada; Ford's Worldwide Export Operations; Consumer Connect, and Ford Worldwide Marketing.  She joined Ford as the Director of Business Strategy in 1998.  Early in her career, Kathleen also worked for United Technologies Corporation and Delco Electronics, a division of General Motors.  

"Every automotive leader dreams of running a successful new car company," Kathleen said.  "And I firmly believe that Next Autoworks is destined to be one of the truly great American success stories.  The Company has re-imagined and re-invigorated the concept of practical, responsible, affordable and fun transportation.  I'm honored and thrilled to be here."

"Kathleen impressed all of us as a visionary strategist with a passion for automobiles.  She has remarkable and wide-ranging global automotive experience and proven leadership qualities – precisely what we were looking for in a CEO," said Ray Lane.

About Kathleen Ligocki:

Over the past two-plus decades, in an executive career that has taken her across the globe, into the leadership ranks of three multinational industrial giants, to the high-visibility restructuring of a Fortune 1000 company, and finally to the executive leadership of an entrepreneurial and pioneering start-up company, Kathleen has continually broken through the ceilings of others' expectations to deliver unexpected performance and results.  She is currently a principal in her consulting firm, Pine Lake Partners.

Kathleen holds an MBA from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, and graduated with highest distinction from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies focusing on Chinese History and Renaissance Art.  She has been awarded two honorary doctorates, in 2008 from Central Michigan University (Commercial Science) and in 2002 from Indiana University (Human Letters).  In 2009, she was the recipient of Indiana University's DASA award, their most prestigious honor.

She has an extensive and varied governance background, including two public boards, three university boards, a non-profit healthcare board, and seven joint venture boards. Kathleen is also an active community volunteer in various organizations supporting women and children and is a frequent speaker on topics related to the automotive industry, restructuring, and leadership.

About Ray Lane:

Ray Lane is a Managing Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He sits on the boards of more than 20 public and private companies, including Next Autoworks, Hewlett Packard, Fisker Automotive, GreatPoint Energy, Luca Technologies, Xsigo, Elance and Quest Software.  Prior to KPCB, Ray was President and Chief Operating Officer of Oracle. Before joining Oracle, he was a Senior Partner with Booz Allen Hamilton and led that firm's Information Technology practice worldwide.  Prior to Booz Allen Hamilton, he served as Division Vice President with EDS.  In addition, Ray spent ten years with IBM in various product management, sales, and marketing positions.  Ray received a bachelor's degree in mathematics and an honorary PhD in science from West Virginia University. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Mellon University, is on the Board of Governors of WVU, and serves as Vice Chairman of Special Olympics International.

About Next Autoworks:

Next Autoworks is a new American car company that will introduce a safe, high-quality, fuel-efficient car for the U.S. market – at a very competitive price.   Formerly V-Vehicle, the Next Autoworks name reflects the company's focus on the future and collaborative approach to doing business.  The company has announced it will assemble its vehicles in Monroe, Louisiana, which will create an estimated 1,400 new and lasting jobs, along with thousands of supplier jobs across America.  With corporate offices in San Diego, California and engineering offices in Detroit, Michigan, Next Autoworks is an American car company.

The company has attracted strong private funding, including investments from Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers LLP, Google Ventures, L.P., T. Boone Pickens, James Davison, and others, as well as a competitive incentive package from Louisiana Economic Development, and is an applicant for loan funding under the US Department of Energy Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program.

Contact:  David Langness

Office: 213-486-6560 x 309

Cell: 310-702-1919

SOURCE Next Autoworks Company