The board of management of Daimler Truck AG has appointed John O’Leary as the next president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), with its brands Freightliner Trucks, Western Star Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation and Detroit Diesel Corporation.
Effective April 1, O’Leary follows Roger Nielsen, who retires effective April 30 after 35 years in the company, the last four years as its president and CEO.
John O’Leary started at DTNA with Freightliner in 2000. After establishing internal transformation-processes, the company says he led the U.S. school bus business as the president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. From 2010, O’Leary was the senior vice president for the aftermarket business before becoming the CFO of DTNA in 2012 under then-president Martin Daum (2009-2017) and Roger Nielsen (2017 to 2020). Since September 2020, John O’Leary has been the chief transformation officer for Mercedes-Benz Trucks in Germany, laying the foundation for its transformation and profitability improvement. In this role he also led the Mercedes-Benz Truck organization until the start of Karin Radström in February 2021.
Roger Nielsen has been the president and CEO of DTNA since April 1, 2017. Under his leadership, the company says he started several customer trials with the Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 and launched the Thomas Built Buses Jouley school bus to pave the way to CO2-neutral transport at DTNA. In addition, he renewed the Western Star product lineup and the vocational truck business and made DTNA the most successful truck OEM in the U.S.
Roger Nielsen began his career in 1986 as a Freightliner manufacturing engineer responsible for wiring harness testing, followed by management positions in manufacturing, supply-chain-management, and as chief operating officer from 2001 to 2016.