BREAKING NEWS: Freightliner boss hands in the keys

PORTLAND, Ore. — After more than 30 years in the trucking industry, Chris Patterson is stepping away from his duties as chief of Daimler Trucks North America and calling it a career.

The Toronto-born Patterson worked his way up the ranks of the industry, beginning with a stint making overnight produce deliveries in metro Toronto in the early ‘70s, and on the verge of turning 55-years-old has chosen to retire.

Patterson’s life as a trucker lasted just a couple of years and after he graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a B.A. in economics and an M.B.A., Patterson signed on with Kenworth. For 14 years, he worked for a handful of the manufacturer’s Canadian offices before being named Freightliner of Canada president in 1992.

By 1996, when Patterson headed for a position at Freightliner’s head office in Portland, Ore., Freightliner had climbed up the ranks of the Canadian truck sales charts and held a 27 percent share of the market.


Chris Patterson

"Chris Patterson has been crucial to our efforts to set the course for the competitiveness of Daimler Trucks North America with competitive products and a comprehensive efficiency program," stated Andreas Renschler, head of the Daimler Trucks division, in a news release announcing the retirement.

After a brief four-year hiatus from Frieghtliner, when Patterson served as the executive vice-president, sales and marketing of Volvo Trucks North America, Patterson returned to Daimler in 2002.

Finally, Patterson was appointed president and CEO of Freightliner in 2005, which included the responsibility of overlooking management of all the affiliated companies: Freightliner Trucks, Sterling Trucks, Western Star Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, Detroit Diesel Corporation, and Axle Alliance Company.

Effective June 1, Martin Daum will become head of Daimler Trucks North America to replace Patterson. Daum is currently head of Operations at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Woerth, Germany and has been with the Daimler Group for more than 20 years. 

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