DETROIT: Struggling US automaker Chrysler Group has stunned the nation's motor industry with the announcement that it has poached Toyota Motor's top North American executive, Jim Press (pictured) to head up sales and marketing.

Chrysler's new owners, private equity firm Cereberus Capital Management, are hoping Press's thirty-seven years experience at Toyota will be a major factor in their turnaround strategy and bring Chrysler the kind of success enjoyed by the Japanese giant.

Press, most recently president/coo at Toyota North America, will work alongside Tom LaSorda, with the same title of vice-chairman and president.

LaSorda departed the ceo's office at Chrysler last month to make way for former Home Depot boss Robert Nardelli.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff