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Western Star gets new leader


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Heavy Duty Trucking / February 3, 2015

Michael Jackson is retiring as general manager of Western Star Truck Sales after 10 years with Daimler Trucks North America, the company announced. Jackson is set to retire on March 31.

Kelley Platt will assume Jackson's former role as general manager, leaving her role as president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. Plat has been with DTNA since 1989 playing a crucial role in the company’s acquisition of Western Star and Thomas Built Buses.

"Michael has been instrumental to the success of the Western Star brand," said Martin Daum, president and CEO of DTNA. "We wish Michael the very best in his future endeavors and we have the utmost confidence in Kelley Platt and her ability to keep Western Star's momentum going."

Jackson joined DTNA in 2005 as the general manager of marketing and controlling. Since taking over the role with Western Star in 2009, Jackson oversaw several successful product launches including the new Western Star 5700XE.

"Working for Daimler Trucks North America has been an important part of my life professionally and personally," said Jackson. "I am pleased to retire and leave the Western Star brand in the capable hands of my successor Kelley Platt."

Platt recieved her bachelor's degree in economics from Colby College and her MBA from Duke University. She will be relocating to the Portland, Ore., area to oversee Western Star's initiatives from the DTNA corporate headquarters.

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A political appointment, here's yet another brand led by an individual with no knowledge whatsoever about the truck business.

Platt worked her way up to treasurer, helped the Germans acquire Western Star and Thomas-Built Buses, and then was charged with running Thomas-Built despite having zero background in the school bus business.

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