With his chances of advancement stifled at DaimlerChrysler AG, Thomas Stallkamp finally lands a top job - as vice chairman and chief executive officer at MSX International Inc.
For Mr. Stallkamp, who was ousted from his job as DaimlerChrysler president at the end of the year, the new post is a fitting achievement for a man who nurtured a new era in supplier relations.
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, MI, MSX employs more than 12,000 people in 23 countries and offers engineering, staffing, training, purchasing and marketing support.
In November, Mr. Stallkamp speaks to the Original Equipment Suppliers Assn. and lays out the major pitfalls he sees for partsmakers "rushing to the altar." It doesn't take too much reading between the lines to apply his observations to the DaimlerChrysler merger.
Mr. Stallkamp points to three pitfalls for merging suppliers. "The first was the very real possibility you could buy the wrong company - and find yourself stuck with products and plants that don't fit into your core business and never will," he says. The other two: buying a company for technology that quickly becomes out of date, and taking on huge amounts of debt that endanger future flexibility.
"The fourth pitfall is one that beset the OEMs when they grew to gargantuan size years ago - the reduction of creativity that seems to follow an increase in size. Size, as we should know by now, creates structure. Structure adds complexity. And complexity increases costs, while decreasing flexibility and opportunities for innovation.
"Speaking from our experience at DaimlerChrysler, it's faster to acquire or be acquired - but I'm not sure it always results in the right corporate structure," he says.
Take that, Juergen.