The Chrysler Group announced that Eric R.Ridenour, 44, has been named executive vice president - ProductDevelopment, effective February 1, 2003, in conjunction with the retirementof long-time engineering chief Richard O. Schaum, 56.Ridenour, who has 15 years management experience in Chrysler GroupEngineering, has most recently been vice president - Premium VehicleProduct Team. In a related move, Craig R. Love, 54, assumes responsibilityfor the product development of the company's premium passenger car line-up,in addition to his current responsibility as head of the activity vehicles,with the new title vice president - Activity & Premium Vehicle ProductTeam."This appointment demostrates that Chrysler has the depth of talent uponwhich to build its engineering future," said Dieter Zetsche, president andchief operating officer at Chrysler Group. "While we will miss Rich'sleadership, we can also look forward to Eric's broad experience to continuewhat Rich has built during his 37 years with the company."Ridenour has experience in several engineering and related disciplines atChrysler Group, including powertrain engineering, regulatory affairs,product planning and product strategy. In his new position, he will direct9,000 people involved in the product development disciplines, includingEngineering Technologies, Regulatory Affairs and Product Strategyfunctions, as well as the powertrain and vehicle engineering Product Teams.Schaum cited as his proudest achievement his work related to therestructuring of the Chrysler Group, following the 1998 merger intoDaimlerChrysler. "In just a few short years, we restructured the entirecompany," he said. "At the same time, we institutionalized the ChryslerDevelopment System, implemented Component Teams and Centers of Competence,and launched a product offensive which is unprecedented in the history ofChrysler Group.""As a member of the Chrysler Group Executive Committee, Rich has beeninstrumental in restoring the company to profitability," added Zetsche."He has been a stabilizing influence over the last several years. Underhis leadership, we overhauled our complete powertrain line-up andintroduced some of the most important vehicles in our company's recenthistory, such as the Jeep® Liberty and the new Dodge Ram truck line-up."In addition, quality has improved significantly, while simultaneouslycosts have been reduced, proving that Rich can pay equal attention to bothsides of that equation."With this appointment, Ridenour also becomes a member of the ExecutiveCommittee; Schaum's retirement is effective March 31.