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In December, DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas LLC promoted Tracy Hackman to vice president, general counsel, and secretary. Hackman, 45, the first woman GC in the company’s 41-year history, succeeds Christopher Taravella , 54, who retired after more than 20 years with the company. DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas, a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler Services Group, provides financing for auto dealers’ inventories and their customers’ individual car purchases. The company, based in the Detroit suburb of Farmington Hills, has about 6,000 employees, who manage 5 million contracts worth $95 billion. Although a Detroit native, Hackman says she never imagined herself working in the automotive industry. After majoring in finance in college, Hackman worked in the 1980s at Michigan National Bank. But in 1987 a headhunter approached her about a job opening at Chrysler Corporation, and she decided to check it out. “The company was bigger than the bank I was working at, so I was interested,” says Hackman. “And the financial services group there did work that was similar to what I was already doing.” Hackman signed on and has remained with the company ever since, first as staff counsel and then, most recently, as associate general counsel. Now overseeing a legal department of about 30 lawyers, she will help steer DaimlerChrysler through a period of growth. The company last year expanded the regions under its responsibility to include not just the United States, Canada, and Mexico, but also Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico.

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