Electric car company Fisker Automotive said Tuesday it hired former Chrysler chief executive Tom LaSorda as its new CEO.
LaSorda already serves as Fisker's vice chairman and as an advisor to the private company's management team. He replaces Fisker co-founder Henrik Fisker, who will become the company's executive chairman.
LaSorda has more than 30 years of auto industry experience with General Motors and Chrysler. He will be responsible for the company's day-to-day operations.
Until Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy protection last year, LaSorda was vice chairman, president and a board member. He also served as chief executive of Chrysler when it was owned by Daimler AG.
Henrik Fisker founded Anaheim, Calif.-based Fisker Automotive in 2007 after a design career at BMW and Aston Martin. His new job will focus on building the Fisker brand around the world and the styling and design of the automaker's future vehicles.
To make room for Henrik Fisker as executive chairman, Ray Lane, the company's current chairman, will become lead director.
The news comes amid Fisker's attempts to renegotiate its half-a-billion-dollar loan agreement with the federal government.
Fisker has received $193 million of a $529 million Department of Energy loan, mostly for work on the Karma luxury car, which sells for about $100,000. The introduction of the Karma was delayed because of regulatory issues and battery pack problems that prompted a voluntary safety recall by Fisker.
The DOE made loan availability for the automaker's Nina plug-in hybrid sedan project contingent on Fisker meeting development and sales milestones for the Karma, which the company missed. Fisker is now negotiating with the DOE to modify the loan agreement so funds for that project can be released