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Driveline supplier Meritor names Villavarayan as next CEO

Fast-rising veteran executive was named chief operating officer in January

Jay Craig (L) will become executive chairman of commercial driveline supplier Meritor in February 2021. He will be succeed as president and CEO by Chris Villavarayan. (Photos: Meritor)

Commercial truck driveline producer Meritor Inc. (NYSE: MTOR) is getting a new CEO. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Villavarayan will succeed Jay Craig in February 2021.

Craig has been CEO of the Tier 1 automotive supplier since April 2015. He will transition to executive chairman. Meritor’s current chairman, William R. Newlin, will become lead director of the Board of Directors. Villavarayan also will join the board. 

Villavarayan has overseen Meritor’s global operations. He also led product and customer strategy and supplier relationship management.

“Over the last 20 years at Meritor, I have worked alongside some of the best and most innovative talent in the industry. I would like to thank Jay for his guidance and support and the board for placing its trust in me,” Villavarayan said in a press release.

Before being appointed senior vice president and president of Meritor’s Global Truck segment in January 2018, Villavarayan served as president of Truck Americas, responsible for Meritor’s Commercial Truck, Defense and Specialty businesses in North and South America. He was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer in January 2020.

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Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.