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Magna appoints Kotagiri to succeed Walker as CEO

October 22, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Seetarama (Swamy) Kotagiri will succeed Don Walker as CEO of Magna International on January 1, the Aurora-based automotive parts giant announced Tuesday.

Mr. Walker, who has served as the company’s CEO for the last 15 years, will retire at the end of 2020.

“Given Swamy’s role in aligning the company’s strategy with the megatrends impacting new mobility and the ‘car of the future,’ he is the right leader to take Magna forward,” said William L. Young, Chairman of Magna’s Board of Directors, in a statement. “Swamy has a strong command of the business, sound judgment, and is a strategic thinker who can drive disciplined execution. I’ve been impressed by Swamy’s ability to inspire people to think innovatively and deliver their best work to benefit Magna’s customers. Swamy also has an innate leadership quality of being able to take complex problems and break them down so that people can understand and solve them.”

Walker, a resident of King, has led Magna since 2005, after a previous stint as company CEO between 1994 and 2001. Over the last 33 years, he has served the company in various capacities including Vice President of Product Development and Engineering, Chief Operating Officer and President.

“Leading Magna and working with all our great employees has been a tremendous honor and I am extremely proud of everything we have accomplished together,” said Walker. “In addition to Swamy’s strong technical and operational strengths, he has played an integral role in advancing the company’s position in the changing mobility landscape and encouraging a start-up mindset to solve problems with solutions from outside our industry. I am confident in Swamy’s future-focused approach and leadership to move Magna forward into the next decade and beyond.”

Kotagiri joined the automotive industry more than 25 years ago, 21 of which have been spent at Magna. He has previously served as the company’s Chief Technology Officer and was responsible for steering the company’s innovation and new product strategy.

“Building on Magna’s industry leadership is very important to me,” he said. “It starts with our people, who are among the most talented in the business. We will leverage the company’s decentralized, entrepreneurial culture, which empowers every member of the Magna family to act as an owner and think as if they were part of a start-up.

“With the next transformation in mobility upon us, Magna can build on its current position of strength, derived from leading capabilities across key areas of the vehicle, financial stability and strong leadership. The evolution of the mobility ecosystem presents a range of opportunities directly related to Magna’s strengths.”

By Brock Weir
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter



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