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Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) announced that David Carson, currently president of Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC), has been appointed president of Western Star Trucks and chief diversity officer of DTNA. Carson succeeds Kelley Platt who has been promoted within the Daimler AG global organization to president and chief executive officer of Daimler’s truck joint venture Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co., Ltd. (BFDA) in China.
“While we will miss Kelley’s leadership and her significant contributions as a member of the Daimler Trucks North America Operating Committee, we are confident that David’s dedication and proven track record as a leader position him well as the new leader of Western Star as we look to the future for the vocational truck brand,” said Roger Nielsen, president and chief executive officer of Daimler Trucks North America.
In his role leading the Western Star team and the strategic direction for the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, Carson will become a member of the company’s Operating Committee. Carson was appointed to his current role as president of FCCC in 2015, where he oversaw engineering, operations and sales & marketing for DTNA’s chassis business.
Under his leadership, FCCC continued its development of product offerings and enhancements in the school bus, RV and walk-in van segments, leading to record performance in 2016. He also led efforts to significantly invest in and expand on the brand’s operations, including construction of a new logistics center and chassis loading facility.
Previously, Carson served in a variety of leadership roles, most recently as the company’s general manager of human resources responsible for all human resource matters, including negotiations with labor unions.
Carson earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Kelley Platt will become president and chief executive officer of Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co. Ltd. In this role, Kelley will report to Sven Ennerst, truck board member for procurement, R&D, and newly appointed for China.
“Kelley’s leadership and dedication to our customers and to continuously improve will continue to be integrated into our company as we move forward,” said Nielsen. “We wish her the best of luck in China where she will bring a wealth of experience with her.”
Under the leadership of Kelley Platt, Western Star has set sales and market share records.
Previously, from 2010 to 2015, Platt served as the president and chief executive officer of Thomas Built Buses (TBB). Platt started her Daimler career in 1989 as a manager in the treasury department. She founded the Business Excellence Group in 2006, which first introduced the company to the idea that continuous improvement and LEAN principles could be applied in the office environment in the same manner as was already proving successful in the manufacturing arena. She has been a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion both for DTNA and on the larger global Daimler landscape.
Platt holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in economics from Colby College and a Master’s of Business degree in operations and finance from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.