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November 13, 2020 12:45 PM, EST

Meritor Announces CEO Succession Plan

MeritorCraig (left) and Villavarayan via Meritor; base photo of a Meritor product at an industry show via John Sommers II for Transport Topics

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Meritor Inc. announced Jay Craig, CEO and president, will transition to the role of executive chairman of the board of directors on Feb. 28, 2021. Chris Villavarayan, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will succeed him in both roles, and will join the board.

Meritor’s current chairman, William Newlin, will become lead director of the board as part of this transition plan, according to the Troy, Mich.-based company.

Meritor is a global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. It has 7,000 employees in manufacturing facilities, engineering centers, joint ventures, distribution centers and global offices in 19 countries.

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Villavarayan, a 20-year veteran of the company, said he looked forward to building on the company’s strategic plans to further solidify Meritor’s leadership position in “our traditional businesses, while also investing in future technologies, such as electric drivetrains.”

In a 2018 interview with Transport Topics, Villavarayan said, “There are technologies that roll across borders or regions. There are cost efficiencies that come from Asia that we bring into North America and Europe. Then there are technologies we develop in North America that we take into other regions.”

READ MORE: Meritor Technologies Keep Crossing Borders

Newlin thanked Craig for his stewardship and commitment to Meritor.

“Under Jay’s leadership, Meritor has expanded its product portfolio, strengthened its financial foundation and delivered significant value to shareholders,” he said in a release. “We look forward to his ongoing contributions as executive chairman of the board. As Jay transitions to his new role, we are fortunate to have Chris, who has overseen global operations for the company, in addition to product and customer strategy and supplier relationship management, step in as CEO to help usher in the next phase of growth and innovation.”

Craig said it was an honor to lead Meritor and he was “humbled by the team’s unwavering commitment to our strategic direction. We remain steadfast in our drive for innovation and superior customer service.”

Meritor named Craig CEO and president in June 2014. Before that he was a senior vice president within Meritor and president of its commercial truck and industrial segment.

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