Meritor’s CEO and president, Jay Craig, will soon transition to the role of executive chairman of the board of directors, with Chris Villavarayan, executive vice president and chief operating officer, succeeding him.
Craig will complete the transition at the end of February 2021, while Meritor’s current chairman, William Newlin, will become lead director of the board.
“Under Jay’s leadership, Meritor has expanded its product portfolio, strengthened its financial foundation and delivered significant value to shareholders. We look forward to his ongoing contributions as executive chairman of the board,” said Newlin. “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.”
With the company’s M2022 plan well underway, Craig called this the ideal time to begin a leadership transition.
“Chris has been an integral member of our leadership team and my partner in executing successful M2016 and M2019 plans,” said Craig. “I am confident he will build upon Meritor’s long track-record of serving customers, driving shareholder value and supporting our global employees. I am excited to continue working closely with Chris and supporting Meritor’s ongoing success as executive chairman.”
Villavarayan was “deeply honored to assume the CEO role” and is ready to bring his 20 years at Meritor to help advance the company’s technology growth in the commercial vehicle market.
“I would like to thank Jay for his guidance and support and the board for placing its trust in me. I look forward to building on the successful ‘M’ plans and continuing to partner with Jay and the board, the leadership team and our employees to further solidify Meritor’s leadership position in our traditional businesses, while also investing in future technologies, such as electric drivetrains,” he added.