Exide Names Four New Board Members READING, Pa., March 26 / -- Exide Corporation (NYSE: EX) one of the world's largest suppliers of lead-acid batteries, today appointed four new members to its Board of Directors:...
Exide Names Four New Board Members
READING, Pa., March 26 / -- Exide Corporation (NYSE: EX) one of the world's largest suppliers of lead-acid batteries, today appointed four new members to its Board of Directors: Francois J. Castaing President, Castaing & Associates; Heinz C. Prechter, Chairman, Prechter Holdings; John James, Chairman and CEO of the O-J Group, and John E. Robson, senior advisor at BancBoston Robertson Stephens Inc. According to Exide Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Lutz, the additional Board members strengthen the corporation. "A strong Board provides the proper philosophical leadership and oversight along with shareholder reassurance imperative for a well-run publicly held company," he said. "The experience and intelligence these four directors add to the Board will greatly help senior management steer a steady course as Exide restructures itself to meet the challenges of the coming Millennium. "And I must take a moment to thank and compliment our current outside Board members, Robert H. Irwin, James T. Watson and Thomas J. Reilly, Jr., for their work over the past few months while I became acclimated to my new position." (Lutz joined Exide December 1, 1998 filling the top management position which had been vacant since the middle of October.) Castaing, graduated as an engineer in 1968 in Paris, realized his childhood dreams when he began designing race-car engines for Renault. In 1975 he was promoted to technical director for Renault Motorsport Program and in 1979 Castaing changed Formula One racing by making turbo charging the technology of choice. A year later, Castaing moved to Detroit to help the new union between the American Motors Corporation and Renault; four years later he became AMC's vice president of engineering, then group vice president of product and quality. In 1987, he joined Chrysler when it acquired American Motors Corp. In the fall of 1988 he was named vice president vehicle engineering in charge of all Chrysler cars and trucks. Castaing, under the leadership of Lutz, came up with a rapid and innovative way of designing new automobiles called "platform teams." This idea proved to be cost effective, and delivered an array of successful, attractive, and relatively inexpensive- to- build vehicles. He was promoted to executive vice president in 1996. Since retirement in 1997 Castaing has remained close to the industry as a consultant while spending more and more time promoting science and engineering education. Castaing remains active on several other Boards including Valeo in Paris and General Trailers in London. Prechter, born in 1942 in Kleinhoebing, Germany began his automotive career at age 13 as an apprentice in automotive trim, tool and die making, and coach and bodybuilding. During his studies at Berufs-Oberschule in Nuremberg and Nuremberg's OHM Polytechnic Engineering School, he gained a wide range of practical experience working for a number of German companies. In 1963 he came to the U.S. as an exchange student and studied Business Administration and English at San Francisco State College. While studying, he began installing sunroofs. Prechter formed American Sunroof Company 15 months later in Los Angeles. This company became well known for its custom sunroofs as well as its creative approach to supporting the development of specialty vehicles for the film industry. In 1967, he expanded his operation to Detroit in an effort to better serve the automobile industry. Today, American Sunroof Company is one of three independent business units of the parent company, ASC Incorporated. This small business Prechter started in a two car garage in 1965, today has more than 22 facilities worldwide and employs nearly 2,000 people. Prechter is also involved in various charitable and community projects such as The Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce, Southern Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, Police and Fireman Survivors Aid and The United Foundation. James, after returning from military service in 1969, began working at the Chrysler Corporation in personnel and labor relations. He also continued his studies in business administration at Wayne State University. In 1971 he established The O-J transport Company with his uncle, Calvin Outlaw. Over the next three decades, James founded three other companies -- International Contract Logistics, Motor City Intermodal Distribution, and Renaissance Global Logistics -- as members of The O-J group. Renaissance Global Logistics is Ford Motor Company's North American exporter of "complete knockdown" vehicles. For his hard work and personal contributions, Ernst and Young named James Entrepreneur of the Year for Service in 1998. Robson is an investment banker with the San Francisco based firm of BancBoston Robertson Stephens Inc. His varied career includes business, government, law and education. From 1989 to 1993, he served as deputy secretary of the United States Treasury. He was dean and professor of management from 1986-89 at the Emory University School of Business Administration and from 1977 to 1986 was an executive with G.D. Searle & Co., a pharmaceutical company (including serving as President and CEO.) Previously, he held government posts as Chairman of the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Transportation and engaged in the private practice of law as a partner of Sidley and Austin. Robson earned his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is also a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, a Visiting Fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a trustee of St. John's College. Robson serves on several other corporate boards including Monsanto Company, Northrop Grumman Corporation and ProLogis Trust.
SOURCE Exide Corporation