Jacob Harb, BMW North America boss of electric vehicles, is parting ways with the German automaker.
Rumors place Harb at an undisclosed position at Porsche.
Don Smith is expected to step in for Harb as interim electric vehicle manager
Over on The Electric BMW i3 blog, Tom Moloughney describes Don Smith as follows:
"Don is the BMW i Electric Vehicle Operations and Strategy manager and has been working closely with Harb for awhile now. Don may have the easiest transition into the position as anybody there because he has been working directly with Harb."
Some backstory on Harb
Jacob Harb was Mr. Electric for BMW of North America, responsible for operations and strategy of the BMW i sub brand since August 2012.
Commenting on i in the past, Harb stated:
"It is the future of BMW. We have a more sustainable future, production processes that are new and innovative, and we have industrialized carbon fiber."
Harb was right: BMW i is the future, but Harb is now part of BMW's past.
In 2003, Harb joined BMW as a temp worker as production coordinator at BMW's distribution center in Jersey City, New Jersey.
He later became part of BMW's advanced planning department and head a study that led to BMW's global Strategy Number One plan—effort to ensure the company's future profitability and the sustainability of its products.
Of Strategy Number One, Harb stated:
"There were challenges getting the entire organization here in the United States and Munich to buy into a strategy that was more focused on sustainable growth and all of the financial parameters that will keep the company healthy."
In 2009, Harb passed on an opportunity to work for BMW in Munich. Instead, he choose to run BMW's Los Angeles market as area manager for a group of 5 dealerships. Those 5 dealerships were #1 in the U.S. in terms of annual sales (new+used).
After that stint, Harb assumed the role as the man in charge of operations and strategy of the BMW i sub brand.
Insiders attribute the incredibly rocky U.S. launch of the BMW i3 as the reason why Harb is parting ways with BMW.