Navistar International (NAV) on Thursday tapped insider and former General Motors (GM) exec Troy Clarke as the truck and engine maker’s next CEO, revealed plans to split its CEO and chairman roles and posted stronger-than-expected quarterly results.
Wall Street cheered the major moves, sending shares of the automotive company racing 20% higher out of the gate.
Navistar said Clarke, the company’s chief operating officer since January 2010, will replace interim CEO Lewis Campbell on April 15.
“Today I am pleased to announce our turnaround is firmly underway and our return to profitability is clearly in sight,” Campbell said in a statement. “Troy is the right executive to lead the company forward at this time, and I am confident Navistar will continue to build on its momentum.”
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns a stake in Navistar, also praised the selection of Clarke.
"We are behind Troy 100% in his efforts to build Navistar into a focused, competitive and profitable truck and engine manufacturer," Icahn said in a statement.
While Clarke, 57, will remain Navistar’s president, the company’s board has decided to split up the CEO and chairman titles, selecting current director James Keyes to serve as non-executive chairman.
“I want to thank Lewis for his guidance and leadership during this period,” Clarke said. “Working together, we have implemented a number of important actions to set Navistar on the right path, and the company now has a strong platform to build upon going forward.”
Clarke joined Navistar after a 35-year stint at GM, where he served as president of GM North America and president of the auto maker’s Mexican business.
Meanwhile, Navistar revealed a lighter-than-expected loss for the fiscal first quarter.
The company said it lost $123 million, or $1.53 a share, last quarter, compared with a loss of $153 million, or $2.19 a share, a year earlier. Analysts had called for a deeper loss of $1.76 a share.
Revenue slid 12% to $2.64 billion, trailing the Street’s view of $2.81 billion.
Shares of Lisle, Ill.-based Navistar surged 27.48% to $31.84 Thursday morning, leaving them up 46% so far this year.