Magna CEO To Join Russian Automaker

DETROIT (AP) -- Auto parts maker Magna International said Monday that one of its two CEOs has resigned to take a post with a Russian company with ties to Magna.

Donald Walker, the other CEO, will become Magna's sole chief executive when Siegfried Wolf steps down on Nov. 15, the company said.

He will pursue an unspecified opportunity with Basic Element and its machinery division OJSC Russian Machines, the parent company of Russian automaker GAZ Group.

"Basic Element gains an experienced manager with extensive full vehicle assembly expertise who can immediately assist its automotive division in pursuing its modernization and growth strategy," Magna Chairman Frank Stronach said.

GAZ is controlled by billionaire tycoon Oleg Deripaska's Basic Element, the heavily leveraged investment vehicle that has been battered by the global economic crisis.

Deripaska once had a 20 percent stake in Magna International Inc. but was forced to cede it to creditors in 2008.

Stronach said Wolf made a major contribution to Magna's success, including establishing its presence in Europe.

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