Tom LaSorda was named to automaker Fisker’s board of directors last December, and now comes word that the long-time auto industry veteran has been appointed CEO of Fisker Automotive. Effective immediately, LaSorda will assume full responsibility for running the company’s day-to-day operations.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) and our own Green Car Reports broke the news ahead of a scheduled Fisker press conference, presumably to announce LaSorda’s promotion to CEO.

LaSorda’s appointment comes at a pivotal time in the automaker’s history, as the automaker has been struggling to restructure loans previously granted by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Fisker has missed key deadlines, prompting the feds to freeze the company’s access to funding. As a result, Fisker was forced to lay off employees in California and Delaware, calling the future of its “Project Nina” vehicle line into doubt.

LaSorda is no stranger to automakers with financial woes, as he became Chrysler’s CEO during its brief ownership by Cerberus Partners. He was instrumental in brokering the deal that led to Fiat’s purchase of Chrysler, and despite a request from Fiat to stay on board, retired from the automaker in May of 2009.

Henrik Fisker, co-founder of the company that bears his name, will become Executive Chairman and will focus on building the Fisker brand in global markets. Fisker will also remain in charge of styling and design of future Fisker models.