Photo: DTNA
John O'leary Dtna

DTNA: John O‘Leary appointed president and CEO

Feb. 17, 2021
Replacing the retiring Roger Nielsen, O’Leary will head the management of Freightliner Trucks, Western Star Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation and Detroit Diesel Corporation.

Daimler Truck AG named John O’Leary its next president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA). Effective April 1, O’Leary replaces Roger Nielsen, who will retire on April 30 after 35 years with the company.

John O’Leary started at DTNA with Freightliner in 2000. After establishing internal transformation-processes, he led the U.S. school bus business as the president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. From 2010, O´Leary was the senior vice president for the aftermarket business before becoming the CFO of DTNA in 2012.

Since September 2020, John O’Leary has been the Chief Transformation Officer for Mercedes-Benz Trucks in Germany, laying the foundation for its transformation and profitability improvement. In this role, he also led the Mercedes-Benz Truck organization until the start of Karin Radström in February 2021.

"John O’Leary has more than 20 years of experience at DTNA and knows the North American commercial vehicle business like no other,” said Martin Daum, president and CEO of Daimler Truck AG and member of the board of management Daimler AG. “As CFO of DTNA and lately as Chief Transformation Officer of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, he has proven that his experience and knowledge make him just the right person to successfully lead DTNA into the future.”

Roger Nielsen has been the president and CEO of DTNA since April 2017. Under his leadership, he started several customer trials with the Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 and launched the Thomas Built Buses Jouley school bus to pave the way to CO2-neutral transport at DTNA. In addition, he renewed the Western Star product lineup and the vocational truck business and made DTNA the most successful truck OEM in the U.S.

Nielsen began his career in 1986 as a Freightliner manufacturing engineer responsible for wiring harness testing, followed by management positions in manufacturing, supply-chain-management and as COO from 2001 to 2016.

"I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Roger Nielsen for his dedication to the success of DTNA and his successful positioning of our brands Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses,” Daum added. “Besides his passion for our business and unprecedented customer orientation, he is the embodiment of responsible people leadership.”

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