Rolf Eckrodt

DEFINITION of 'Rolf Eckrodt'

A former president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. Eckrodt joined the company in 2001 as executive vice president and COO and was president and CEO from 2002 to 2004. He joined the company shortly after it revealed a decades-long history of covering up design flaws that had caused vehicle malfunctions and accidents.

The company was dealing with massive recalls and losing money and market share in Japan, so Eckrodt cut thousands of jobs, streamlined the company's suppliers, closed a manufacturing plant and increased spending on research and development. These changes helped the company turn a profit in 2002, but in 2003 it suffered from massive defaults on auto loans and the company lost millions on this and other setbacks, causing Eckrodt to resign and retire in 2004.

BREAKING DOWN 'Rolf Eckrodt'

Born in 1942 in Germany, Eckrodt earned his M.E. degree from the University of Bochum in 1966. He began his career that same year with Daimler-Benz and worked his way up to vice president of axle production for passenger cars in 1983. He continued to advance into higher-level management positions with Daimler-Benz's subsidiary, Mercedes-Benz, and in 1998 became president and CEO of another of the company's subsidiaries, Adtranz.