Traton Names New Navistar CEO, CFO; Fills Other Key Posts

Navistar International headquarters
Navistar International headquarters in Lisle, Ill. Munich-basedTraton Group completed the acquisition of the truck maker in July. (Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg News)

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Traton SE, whose purchase of Navistar International Corp. closed in July, announced a new CEO and chief financial officer for the American truck maker as it added executives who played key roles in the merger.

Mathias Carlbaum was appointed CEO and president of Navistar International Corp. effective Sept. 1.

Since April, Carlbaum has been leading the post-merger management of Navistar on behalf of Munich-based Traton Group.


Do Young Kim will become chief financial officer effective Jan. 1. Kim had been the project lead for Traton’s IPO and the merger with Navistar.

Carlbaum will succeed Persio Lisboa, who has held the position since July 2020. After a short transition, Lisboa will retire.

In a release, Traton called Lisboa instrumental in returning Navistar to profitability and launching and executing a solid strategy called Navistar 4.0.

Before leading the post-merger management, Carlbaum was executive vice president of commercial operations at Traton brand Scania AB, where he worked in sales and international markets.


“Mathias Carlbaum is an internationally experienced manager with the right skills and mindset to lead Navistar into this new era as part of Traton Group,” Matthias Gründler, Traton SE’s CEO and a member of Navistar’s board of directors, said in a release. “A great thanks goes to Persio Lisboa for his great support before, during and after the merger.”

Meanwhile, Walter Borst, Navistar’s current chief financial officer, will continue to serve as a member of Navistar’s board.

RELATED: Traton completes $3.7 billion deal for Navistar

Other personnel announcements:

• Michael Grahe, formerly chief technology officer of the Traton Group (Scania, MAN, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus and now Navistar’s International brand) will become head of Navistar’s operations, which covers product development and procurement.

• Phil Christman, current president of operations, will remain at Navistar until March to oversee Mexico and Brazil, as well as transition related tasks and continue reporting to the CEO.

• Donna Dorsey will retain responsibility for people and culture.

• Friedrich Baumann remains responsible for sales, marketing and aftermarket.

• Mark Hernandez will be appointed to the executive board and remain responsible for manufacturing.


Gründler in a recent online interview said the U.S. truck market accounts for around 35% of the worldwide profits in the industry.

“The integration of Navistar means we can kick our Global Champion Strategy off and start a new chapter in our company’s history,” he said. “That new chapter is devoted to our strategy in Asia — but the issue at its heart, the big question for the future, is how we can pave the way for electrification and autonomous driving, and how these will impact the logistics sector and therefore our customers.”

Gründler noted leveraging economies of scale with shared components among its brands often increases costs due to the high degree of complexity.

“Our new strategy will therefore be to focus on selected systems and do a really good job of integrating them,” he said, “rather than trying to integrate as many components as possible.”

Gründler added Traton SE — formerly Volkswagen Truck and Bus AG — will invest 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in electric mobility by 2025 “and develop a comprehensive modular toolkit for electric vehicles that will be used throughout the group.

“The brands can then decide for themselves how they make the best use of these modular toolkits,” he said.

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