Covisint LLC's new chairman and CEO vows the auto industry's online exchange will get no more cash from its parents, should not eliminate any more jobs and will work harder to win the trust of parts producers.
Harold Kutner came out of retirement June 28 to lead Covisint following the resignation of Kevin English after 14 months on the job.
Kutner takes up English's promise to make Covisint profitable by year-end, via aggressive cost-cutting. That does not include staff cuts. More than 300 positions were eliminated under English, leaving about 250.
Covisint must stand on its own, says Kutner. “The days of asking for money are over. We're going to fund this company through growth, and we're going to control the cost so that we don't need to go back to our parents to help fund it.”
Kutner, 61, assumes the job six months after retiring fromCorp. as group vice president-worldwide purchasing, where he often was at odds with suppliers. Appointed president and chief operating officer is Bruce Swift, 47, former vice president-purchasing, of Europe.
Covisint has been too focused on pleasing the parent companies (the Big Three,SA, Motor Co. Ltd. and Peugeot Citroen), while not fostering enough trust among the rest of the 7,500 companies using its products, says Kutner “We're going to become more supplier-centric.”