(Reuters) - Robert Nardelli, the former head of Chrysler and Home Depot, has stepped down from his operating roles at Cerberus Capital Management LP, the private equity firm said this week.
Cerberus said Nardelli, who served as chief executive of the firm’s management consulting affiliate as well as its firearms-making conglomerate, resigned from both posts effective immediately.
Nardelli will continue to serve as senior adviser to Cerberus CEO Steve Feinberg, the firm said.
In a statement, Nardelli said he was stepping away from active management roles at Cerberus to devote his attention to XLR-8 LLC, his investment and consulting company.
Nardelli, a square-jawed General Electric veteran executive who was known as “Little Jack” at the conglomerate for his emulation of mentor Jack Welch, left GE when he was passed over as Welch’s successor.
He became CEO of Home Depot in 2000 but left in early 2007 after losing the support of the board. His $210 million severance package from the chain of home improvement superstores made him a lightning rod for criticism.
Several months later, he took the helm at Chrysler, the then deeply troubled automaker owned by Cerberus.
He arrived promising to take a $1 salary and to restore the company’s reputation as an American icon.
Eighteen months later, Nardelli stepped down following Chrysler’s bankruptcy, the first-ever by a major U.S. automaker.
He returned to Cerberus, where he was eventually named CEO of Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company, a consulting affiliate, and Freedom Works, a gunmaking company in the private-equity firm’s portfolio.
Cerberus said Chan Galbato, a long-time Nardelli protege, would succeed him as CEO of Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company LLC, the consulting affiliate.
At Freedom Works, where Nardelli took over as CEO in January, Cerberus said George Kollitide would act as interim CEO of the firearms maker while a permanent successor is found.
Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Vicki Allen