Chrysler LLC names Douglas D. Betts, a 21-year quality assurance veteran, to the newly created position of chief customer officer, effective immediately.

Betts, who also receives the title of vice president, joins Chrysler from Nissan North America Inc., where he most recently served as senior vice president-total customer satisfaction.

Betts also has worked in quality assurance at Toyota Motor Corp., Michelin Tire Corp. and General Motors Corp. At Chrysler, he will report to Vice Chairman and President Jim Press.

Chrysler says “the voice of the customer” will guide Betts in his new role, which the auto maker considers a first for the industry. Betts will create the process, culture, systems and organization to improve product quality and customer relations, Chrysler says.

“Now, the customer will define quality at Chrysler,” Press says in a statement. “We are aligning our resources to bring us to world-class benchmark levels in quality and customer satisfaction, and this is an important step.”

Although Chrysler considers Betts’ position new, his hiring sends Stephen M. Walukas, vice president-corporate quality, back to the procurement and supply side of the company in a role that has not been determined.

The Betts hiring marks the third executive Chrysler has grabbed from a Japanese auto maker since going private in August. In addition to Press, who left the highest rank an American had ever reached with Toyota, the auto maker recently added Deborah Wahl Meyer, former vice president-marketing for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.’s Lexus unit, as its marketing chief.