Cerberus Capital Management LP said Robert Nardelli will leave his post as head of its operations and advisory business and become an adviser to Stephen Feinberg, the firm’s founder and chief executive officer.
“I desired to make this transition to a role as Senior Advisor in order to devote attention to XLR-8 LLC, my investment and consulting company,” Nardelli, the former CEO of Chrysler LLC and Home Depot Inc. (HD), said in a statement today.
Nardelli will also step down as CEO of Freedom Group Inc., a Cerberus-owned maker of firearms and ammunition, Freedom Group said in a separate statement. He was named to the post in September 2010 as the Madison, North Carolina-based gunmaker searched for a permanent CEO. George Kollitides, a former Cerberus managing director who led the Freedom Group deal, will be the interim chief executive.
Nardelli, 63, was ousted as head of Atlanta-based Home Depot in 2007 amid criticism of his pay and the company’s lagging performance. He ran Chrysler for Cerberus until 2009, when the carmaker filed for bankruptcy after one of the worst sales slumps in decades.
The son of a General Electric Co. (GE) engineer, Nardelli started his career loading GE televisions into boxes while still in college. He eventually rose to be CEO of the company’s power systems business and became one of three people vying to succeed Jack Welch as GE’s chief executive. He left for Home Depot in 2000 after it was announced that Jeffrey Immelt was getting the top job.
Nardelli, who joined New York-based Cerberus in 2007, will be replaced by Chan Galbato, a “longtime Nardelli protégé,” the firm said in the statement. Cerberus Operating and Advisory Company oversees the management and operations of companies owned by the buyout firm.
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