BREAKING NEWS: Hebe a top trucking exec again

CHICAGO — Navistar International shuffled its corporate deck and has dealt former Freightliner boss Jim Hebe the position of senior vice-president of North American Sales Operations.

He replaces Dave LaPalomento, who has been promoted to a senior leadership position in the company’s Engine Group.

Five years after leaving Freightliner LLC, Hebe and a group of investors bought Co-Van International Trucks Inc. in 2006 — a full-line International Truck and Engine dealer in the Vancouver area. He’s acted as president and dealer principal of Co-Van-Cascadia International ever since.

Hebe began his career in the trucking industry with International Harvester in 1972. But it was in the ’90s, as the charismatic and outspoken president of Freightliner, when he made a name for himself. Under his watch, the truckmaker rose from a minor player to the class 8-market share leader in North America, acquiring Sterling and Western Star brands along the way.

Hebe resigned in May 2001 after Freightliner bore the brunt of one of the most dramatic heavy-truck slumps in years.

Hebe’s back in a corner office

In his new position, he will be responsible for North American sales, dealer operations, and central sales administration.

“The integration of these three functions is critical to achieve the alignment in communication, planning and execution of both our short and long-term strategies,” the company stated in a press release.

Meanwhile, Bernardo Valenzuela has been promoted to the newly created role of vice president of Global Operations. In this new position, he will bring a unified focus to global product development, sales, marketing, distribution, manufacturing, service and support outside of the U.S. and Canada.

As managing director of CMI for the last three years, Valenzuela led his team in developing the company’s business in Mexico into one of its most successful markets.

Carlos Currlin will replace Valenzuela at CMI.

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