American Motors Chairman Paul Tippett announced Wednesday that, as part of a corporate cost-cutting plan, he would keep his title but resign as a company employee. The unusual arrangement makes him, in effect, an outside director.
The move, effective April 30, further strengthens the office of AMC President Jose Dedeurwaerder, a former officer of Renault, the money-losing French auto maker that owns 46% of AMC's stock. Tippett relinquished the chief executive title to Dedeurwaerder last fall.
"I believe this action is consistent with the other actions that will be taking place in the company," he said. The decision was his, not Renault's, Tippett said.
Dedeurwaerder announced that Southfield, Mich.-based AMC would begin laying off white-collar employees "in early June," in line with previously announced plans to cut internal budgets by 25%.