John O‘Leary appointed president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America

In News, Daimler, Freightliner3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 18, 2021

The board of management of Daimler Truck AG has appointed John O‘Leary as the next president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) with its brands Freightliner Trucks, Western Star Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation and Detroit Diesel Corporation. The New Zealand market falls under DTNA.

Effective April 1, 60-year-old O‘Leary follows Roger Nielsen, who retires effective April 30 after 35 years in the company, the last four years as its president and CEO.

John O‘Leary started at DTNA for Freightliner in 2000, after previously having worked eleven years at Paccar. After establishing internal transformation-processes, he led the US schoolbus business as the president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. From 2010 O´Leary was the senior vice president for the aftermarket business, before becoming the CFO of DTNA in 2012 under then president Martin Daum (2009-2017) and Roger Nielsen (2017-2020).

Since September 2020 John O‘Leary has been the chief transformation officer for Mercedes-Benz Trucks in Germany, laying the foundation for its transformation and profitability improvement. In this role he also led the Mercedes-Benz Truck organisation until the start of Karin Radström in February 2021.

“O‘Leary has more than 20 years of experience at DTNA and knows the North American Commercial Vehicle Business like no other. As CFO of DTNA and lately as chief transformation officer of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, he has proved that his experience and knowledge make him just the right person to successfully lead DTNA into the future,” says Martin Daum, president and CEO of Daimler Truck AG and member or the board of management Daimler AG.

Nielsen has been the president and CEO of DTNA since April 1, 2017. Under his leadership he started several customer trials with the Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 as well as the Thomas Built eJouley schoolbus, that pave the way of DTNA to CO2-neutral transport. In addition he renewed the Western Star product lineup and the vocational truck business and made DTNA the most successful and profitable truck OEM in the US.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Roger Nielsen for his dedication to the success of DTNA and his successful positioning of our brands Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses. Besides his passion for our business and unprecedented customer orientation, he is the embodiment of responsible people leadership,” says Daum.

Roger Nielsen began his career in 1986 as a Freightliner manufacturing engineer responsible for wiring harness testing, followed by management positions in manufacturing, supply-chain-management and as COO from 2001 to 2016.