Ron Bloom, President Obama’s car czar-turned-manufacturing czar, will be leaving at the end of August, the White House announced on Tuesday. Bloom has been a central part of the president’s team, first helping to lead the restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler, and later shaping the administration’s manufacturing policy since September 2009.
His departure comes on the heels of the administration wrapping up one of its biggest accomplishments so far on energy and environment issues, in which he played a major role. Last week President Obama announced new fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks through 2025, and on Tuesday the administration announced the first-ever fuel economy standards for big trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles.
Bloom led many of the meetings among stakeholders that ultimately led to the broad coalition the administration has formed to support the standards. He also has been involved in White House meetings on EPA rules and their impact on the manufacturing sector.
“For the past two and a half years, Ron Bloom’s leadership and expertise has helped us put America’s automakers back on the road to recovery, launch new partnerships to make our manufacturers more competitive, and set aggressive fuel economy standards that will save consumers and businesses money at the pump,” Obama said. “I’m grateful for his service, and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Bloom also got positive reviews from leaders in the manufacturing sector. "Ron’s voice will be sorely missed in this administration," said Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. "He had a deep knowledge base of all the elements that contribute to a successful manufacturing sector in this country: labor, business, Wall Street. I don’t think he’s replaceable."
According to the White House, Bloom will be returning to his longtime residence in Pittsburgh to spend more time with his family, and has not yet announced his next step.
“I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve under President Obama and alongside so many talented individuals who worked tirelessly to strengthen the economy and help communities across the nation,” said Bloom. “We’ve faced many tough choices and dealt with numerous challenges over the past two and a half years — from restructuring the American auto industry to developing historic fuel-efficiency standards. I am confident in this administration’s ability to build on these accomplishments and continue our efforts to revitalize the manufacturing sector.”
Bloom started with the administration at the Treasury Department, serving on the President’s Task Force on the Automotive Industry. He came from a union background, previously serving as a special assistant to the president of United Steelworkers. There, he worked on the union’s collective bargaining program.
Amy Harder contributed contributed to this article.