Nexteer Automotive president resigns

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

Nexteer Automotive said Thursday that its president, Laurent Bresson, had resigned effective immediately.

Bresson, who also served as global chief operating officer, became president of the supplier of steering and driveline technology in 2012. He resigned to pursue other interests, according to the company.

Bresson on Friday said he left for personal reasons. He said he plans to stay in the automotive industry.

"I have a couple of options," he said. "I'm taking my time to choose the best option."

Nexteer has selected Michael Richardson, senior vice president, executive board director and chief strategy officer, to serve as interim president and global COO.

“We are thankful for Laurent’s leadership over the past four years as Nexteer completed the final steps to transform the company into a profitable and growing global enterprise,” Nexteer Chairman Guibin Zhao said in a statement. “We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Bresson joined Delphi Corp. in 1999. The supplier was part of General Motors’ Saginaw Steering Gear division and in 1999 became part of Delphi, as Delphi was spun off from GM. When Delphi emerged from bankruptcy, GM agreed in October 2009 to buy back its steering plants. It sold Nexteer in 2010 to Pacific Century Motors for $450 million.

The Chinese-owned company said it will move fast to select a permanent president to replace Bresson.

“We are confident in Mike’s ability to continue the positive operating performance of the company,” Zhao said. “With more than 40 years of industry experience and the support of Nexteer’s capable leadership team, Mike has the tools and skill set to lead the company through this transition.”

Last week, Nexteer officially opened its headquarters in Auburn Hills, moving corporate functions from Buena Vista Township in Saginaw County to be closer to its customers. Bresson wasn’t part of the event.

(313) 222-2319