Bruce Swift, formerly chief operating officer and president of Covisint LLC, takes over as CEO and chairman of the automotive Internet exchange as Harold Kutner retires for a second time.
“After much hard work, I am now comfortable and confident that Covisint is strategically on track to fulfill its mission and achieve financial success by delivering value to its customers,” says Kutner, the former General Motors Corp. purchasing chief who came to Covisint last year after retiring from GM. Kutner helped create Covisint in 2000.
Swift assumes an enormous task: to convince the auto industry, specifically suppliers, that it needs a virtual marketplace and auction house for parts and supplies, and that Covisint should administer it. Covisint had high hopes of becoming a highly-valued public company, but the business model remains unproven.
At the same time, Covisint opens a new 65,000-sq.-ft. (6,039-sq.-m) headquarters on Lahser Road in Southfield, MI, moving from its previous Southfield location along Northwestern Hwy.
The new building has capacity for 400 workers, but Covisint's 7-year lease has an option for an additional 15,000 sq.-ft. (1,394 sq.-m) of space if it needs to expand.
In January 2002, Covisint said it would locate its headquarters in a 9-story building recently completed in Southfield. Covisint was to occupy the first four stories of the building. That deal fell through when Covisint officials decided not to sign the lease.