Richard Gilligan, co-president and co-CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA), announced his retirement today, after an auto industry career that began in 1962. He was named president of MMNA in January 2005.
Hiroshi Harunari, 57, who was named co-president and co-CEO in Jan. 2006, will become the sole president and CEO.
Previously, Gilligan, 62, was President and COO of MMNA Manufacturing Div., Normal, Ill. During his seven years of leadership there, MMNA earned the rank of the #1 manufacturer in assembly productivity in 2003.
"I feel completely comfortable retiring to spend some long overdue time with my family. MMNA is in very good hands," said Gilligan, who plans to relocate from California to the southeast United States. "I firmly believe that Harunari has business headed in the right direction at MMNA and I expect great things for the company's hardworking employees and committed dealers. I have been extremely impressed with what a 'quick study' Mr. Harunari is. He has quickly come to an appreciation of the intricacies of this most competitive and dynamic North American market."
Gilligan began his career in 1962 as a line worker at Ford Motor Company's Mahwah Assembly Plant in New Jersey. He started on staff in 1966 as an Industrial Engineer with Plant and Division assignments, and subsequently held a steady progression of engineering and management positions. In 1987, he became Ford's Assistant Plant Manager in Chicago, then Assistant Plant Manager at the Kansas City Assembly Plant (1988) and Norfolk Assembly Plant Manager (1989), before returning to the Kansas City Assembly Plant from 1990 - 1992 as Plant Manager. Under his tenure, the Kansas City Assembly Plant received the U.S. Senate Quality and Productivity Award, and the Harbour Report rated the plant the most efficient U.S. passenger car plant in 1992.