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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Auto Boss Eaton to Retire

DETROIT -- DaimlerChrysler co-chairman Robert Eaton, the former Chrysler chairman and CEO who helped orchestrate the merger with Daimler-Benz AG, will retire from the company March 31.

DaimlerChrysler said Eaton, 59, gave the announcement to a meeting of senior managers Wednesday

"The structure and future leadership is in place. "The two companies are one, my goal has been accomplished," Eaton said, according to a company statement.

When Chrysler was acquired by Daimler-Benz AG in 1998, Eaton said he would share the job of chairman with Daimler-Benz head J?rgen Schrempp for no more than three years, then retire.

Eaton began his career at General Motors Corp. in 1963, starting as an engineer and working his way up to president of General Motors Europe. In 1992, he left to join Chrysler.

Eaton was promoted to chairman and chief executive officer Jan. 1, 1993, replacing Lee Iacocca. During his tenure, Chrysler reworked itself from the weakest of the Big Three automakers into a highly profitable company.

He and Schrempp began talking about a tie-up at the 1998 Detroit auto show, and announced the merger five months later.