By on September 7, 2018

2019 Ram 1500

After the sudden illness of industry titan Sergio Marchionne in late July, Fiat Chrysler enacted some quick changes in order to name a new CEO. Mike Manley, who had helmed powerhouse FCA brands, was installed into the role on July 21st, just four days before Mr. Marchionne’s passing.

Reuters reported this morning that Manley will announce his new team during an event towards the end of this month. Until now, little else has been said about the remainder of FCA’s management roster. In a post-Sergio world, who will head up each of the company’s brands?

At a shareholder meeting called to formally vote on Manley’s appointment as CEO, the new boss said he will reveal his organizational plans later this month. According to Automotive News, Manley’s election as an FCA executive board member was approved by more than 99 percent of the votes cast at the meeting.

“When we learned Sergio Marchionne could not return to work the board decided to appoint Mike Manley, who was the only candidate,” Chairman John Elkann said, before going on to thank shareholders for “this great vote of confidence.”

The chairman added the decision was based on succession plans the board was working on with Marchionne for his planned departure in 2019.

There is every expectation that Manley will remain the CEO chair for a good while, since the man is largely considered to be one of the company’s shining stars after leading Jeep and Ram to much success. He is apparently popular with the company’s dealer body to boot. Before the events of this summer, the board was working on succession plans in preparation for Mr. Marchionne’s planned departure in 2019, which were said to prominently include Manley.

In addition to his role as CEO of the whole shop, Manley is also the interim head of the company’s Europe/Middle East/Africa operations, a role he took on when its steward, Alfredo Altavilla, quit just after Manley took the helm. Take from that what you will but several sources say he was annoyed at being passed over as Marchionne’s replacement.

There are plenty of players to consider both here at home and globally as Manley and the board prepare to shuffle the deck. Someone will need to be chosen to lead Jeep and Ram, for example, a currently combined portfolio that may very well be split in two given the massive impact each of those brands has on the company’s overall health.

Olivier François, currently heads up Fiat while also taking care of marketing, might be given new responsibilities. Tim Kuniskis looks after Alfa and Maserati today, but has had his name pop up in certain circles as a candidate to lead brands with more volume.

Reid Bigland is presently in charge of U.S. sales and could return to the Ram brand given his past experience — but the man has been shuffled around the company over the last few years, for whatever reason. It would be a mistake to ignore the well-known and affable Ralph Gilles as a major player, as well.

We should know more in the next couple of weeks.

[Image: Matthew Guy/TTAC]

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18 Comments on “A Post-Marchionne FCA Gets Ready to Name a Dream Team...”

  • avatar

    Bring in Mark Fields in some capacity. That could be an interesting addition from the outside to FCA.

  • avatar

    Hire someone from a Japanese car company. Someone who knows how to make reliable cars. I’ve had a few Chrysler products, but will never ever buy any Fiat/Chrylser product in the future. Can you imagine how many Jeeps you would sell if they were as reliable as a Toyota? A reliable car is cheaper to make.

    • 0 avatar

      FCA has some good muscle cars and the Pacifica. They are certainly better than hapless Ford.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah but who isn’t better than stupid Ford? We should bring them up at every opportunity, and even when there is no opportunity. That’s how you troll correct, son.

    • 0 avatar

      While Fiatsler has made great strides in reliability with their Jeep Grand Cherokee, the real ace-in-the-hole for Fiatsler is the RAM truck line.

      The Ford F150 series may be the best-selling trucks in the US but the RAM trucks are the best-riding, most luxurious trucks on the planet. No two ways about it.

      And I say this as a Tundra aficionado.

      My best friend bought a 2019 RAM Laramie. Too steep for me at an MSRP of $66K+ but huge discounts can be had.

      • 0 avatar

        Spoken like a typical Tundra drone. Ride and luxury are more important than payload and towing. Don’t believe it? Just recite some Ram commercials when in doubt.

        And you wonder why the anti-truck crowd believes that every pickup owner is driving one for image and nothing else.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          “Spoken like a typical Tundra drone”

          There was a comment on Jack’s farewell review, lamenting the loss to this website:

          “Now, all that’s left is crazy John Taurus screaming at imaginary American car haters”

          Yeah. About that. The schtick might be getting a bit old at this point, don’t you think?

          • 0 avatar

            The anti Ford schtick is beyond old on this site, doesnt stop people from puking it up any chance they get. Hell, the people who “write” for this place feed all the anti crap. Might as move over and be a part of the garbage Gizmodo media group at this point. Ckickbait, clickbait everywhere.

  • avatar

    and Raj Nair?

    Depends on reasons for their discharge tho.

  • avatar

    Please let there still be a full size RWD car with optional V8 in a few years.

  • avatar


    YES !!!

  • avatar

    He’s bringing back Iacocca. I can feel it.

  • avatar

    Bob lutz is still around, although he seems to be using a cane now.

  • avatar

    Lee Iacocca is 93 and will be 94 in a month. He’s still chapped that Sergio stopped providing him with a free car, so don’t expect him to come out of retirement for FCA.

    Bob Lutz is a youthful 86 and won’t be 87 until February. He used a cane for a few weeks last winter after twisting his ankle skiing. He’s walking normally now, but he now has to wear glasses full time.

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