Rande Somma, the former head of interior supplier Johnson Controls Inc.'s automotive group who was passed over in a management shake-up last July, has left the company.
Somma, 52, was a 15-year veteran of the firm who had risen through the sales ranks. He was given global responsibility for JCI's automotive group in July 2002.
But Somma was displaced July 29 when Keith Wandell, 53, who had headed the company's battery business, was named president of the automotive group. Somma's new role, if any, at the time was not disclosed.
In a news release, JCI said Somma resigned to pursue other opportunities. He had been seen as a contender for chief executive officer of the Glendale, Wis.-based firm. Somma could not be reached for comment.
Johnson Controls ranked No. 4 on the Automotive News listing of the 150 largest suppliers of original equipment parts to North America last year, with original equipment sales of $7.69 billion. Total company sales last year were $20.1 billion. Automotive News is a Detroit-based sister publication to Plastics News.
The executive moves come in the wake of the company's transition to new leadership.
John Barth succeeded James Keyes as CEO in July 2002. The company announced last July that Barth had been elected chairman, effective Jan 1, 2004.
The automotive group is a critical part of JCI's business. Last year, the group accounted for 75 percent of total company sales and 77 percent of profit.
The company disclosed Somma's resignation in an Oct. 3 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
JCI forecast earlier this year that its automotive group sales would grow more than 10 percent this year. But the firm reported in a recent SEC filing that the unit's operating profit margin is expected to decline slightly over the prior year.