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Outsider Takes The Reins At Covisint

By Tim Stevens The board of Covisint LLC, the automotive trading exchange, has named the e-commerce leader of an investment banking firm as its new chairman, CEO, and president. Kevin English, previously managing director and CEO, e-commerce, Credit Suisse First Boston, will assume the key leadership spot May 1 for the growing exchange created by Ford, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Nissan, Renault, Commerce One, and Oracle. In his first public statement English compared Covisint to a bridge in the early stage of construction, where "80% of it is underwater. There's been a lot of progress made that nobody sees." He cited completion of the integration of the original independent OEM auto exchanges, significant progress within the technology and product development groups, and active customer acquisition initiatives in Europe and Asia. English outlined his key priorities as:

  • customer acquisition, support, and training,
  • developing of new functionality,
  • balancing costs and revenues to optimize shareholder return, and
  • attracting new talent and building the executive team. "From my perspective, Covisint is at an inflection point, and there is tremendous traction and momentum within the company. The opportunity is a win, win, win for the auto companies, the auto suppliers, and ultimately consumers, because faster time to market, increased quality, and cost savings will ultimately be passed along to consumers."
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