WMU News

Alumnus James Holden appointed to Board of Trustees

Jan. 29, 2002

KALAMAZOO--James P. Holden, former president and chief executive officer of DaimlerChrysler AG, has been appointed by Gov. John Engler to the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees.

The Bloomfield Hills, Mich., resident replaces Richard Haworth of Holland, Mich., for a term that expires Dec. 31, 2006. Haworth, a WMU trustee since 1991, resigned in December. The WMU board's next meeting is March 22.

Holden earned a bachelor's degree in political science from WMU in 1973 and an MBA from Michigan State University in 1990. He began his career in the auto industry with Ford Motor Co. shortly after graduating from WMU.

After eight years at Ford, Holden joined the Chrysler Corp. in 1981 as a fleet development manager for truck operations and began a rapid rise through the Chrysler ranks. By 1996 he was one of six executive vice presidents at Chrysler and in 1998, he helped create the new corporate structure for DaimlerChrysler, ultimately emerging as president in 1999 of the entity created from the merger of Chrylser with Daimler Benz. By June 2000, Holden had added the role of CEO to his responsibilities. He held both titles until late that year, when he left the firm during a management shakeup.

In 1998, Holden was named a WMU Distinguished Alumnus, the most prestigious award made by WMU's Alumni Association. Holden appeared on campus two years ago as a speaker in the Haworth College of Business Distinguished Speaker Series.

Media contact: Matt Kurz, 269 387-8400, matt.kurz@wmich.edu

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