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Navistar promotes executive Clarke to CEO

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 8:25 a.m. CDT

LISLE – Navistar, the truck and engine maker in the midst of a turnaround, on Thursday promoted its president and chief operating officer, Troy Clarke, to CEO.

The Lisle company also on Thursday posted a loss for its November-January quarter as revenue fell 12 percent. Demand fell across the industry and Navistar also lost market share because of its transition to a new kind of emissions technology. But the interim CEO, Lewis Campbell, sounded an optimistic note Thursday. He said the company is starting on the road back to profitability and new engine programs are progressing on schedule. He predicted that Navistar will begin to pick up market share in the second half of the year as it launches the new engine models.

As sales slumped last year, Navistar launched a cost-cutting drive and said it would explore putting some of its businesses up for sale. It also averted off a proxy war with activist investors, including Carl Icahn, by adding board members aligned with them.

In the latest management twist, Clarke, 57, will take over on April 15 from Campbell, 66, who is also executive chairman. Campbell, the temporary CEO since August 2012, will also be leaving the board while Clarke joins it. James Keyes, a board member since 2002, will become non-executive chairman.

Shares of Navistar International Corp. rose $1.09, or 4.4 percent, to $26.05 in premarket trading.

The stock has dropped 38 percent over the past 12 months. Navistar posted a $3 billion loss last year as its revenue dropped 7 percent to $12.95 billion.

On Thursday, Navistar said it posted a loss of $123 million, or $1.53 per share, in its fiscal first quarter, compared with a loss of $153 million, or $2.19 per share, in the same period the year before.

Excluding discontinued operations, the loss came to $1.42 per share. Revenue totaled $2.64 billion, down from $3 billion. Analysts, on average, expected a loss of $1.74 per share on $2.76 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

The company reduced general and sales expenses, helping offset a decline in volumes.

Clarke joined Navistar in 2010 after a 35-year career at General Motors. He had run Navistar's Asia operations before becoming president and COO. Keyes, 72, retired as battery and auto parts maker Johnson Controls Inc.'s chairman in 2003 after serving as that company's CEO from 1988 to 2002.

Campbell retired as aircraft and defense supplier Textron's CEO in 2009 and as its non-executive chairman eight months later.

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