Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Mike Manley is showing off his management prowess with a new leadership team to keep the structure of the “house”, as the late Sergio Marchionne called it, intact.
Manley’s new executive team which was announced to employees via email on Monday maintains the management matrix of FCA, which is a cross-functional structure that assigns multiple roles to nearly all of the top-ranking executives. Proven executives are saddled with additional responsibilities.
“He hasn’t brought anybody else in from the outside,” said IHS Markit principal automotive analyst Stephanie Brinley. “This is still all moving around people who have been there as proven leaders within the team. It’s interesting and probably good for them right now.”
FCA’s former head of Europe, Alfredo Altavilla had left the company after not receiving the role of CEO as Marchionne passed away after an illness in Italy. This left an empty space at the very top of FCA. Mike Manley was the man for the job, with his current responsibility being that of finding someone who can take up the reigns of Jeep and RAM vacated by him. Manley will lead FCA’s North American operations as COO. He has appointed Pietro Gorlier to succeed Altavilla as COO of FCA’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions. Reid Bigland will lead the RAM Trucks brand as well the group’s Canadian operations and U.S. sales. Bigland was in charge of RAM in 2013-14.
Noting Bigland’s experience with brand, Manley said he “has the right products and the skills to take Ram to the next level.” Pietro Gorlier will retain the leadership of Mopar globally. “Pietro has a proven track record of commercial and industrial expertise with FCA,” Manley said in the email to the employees. “He is an experienced operator globally, and as a second generation employee whose father worked for Fiat in Italy, Pietro brings a deep respect and knowledge of our operations in Europe.”
The Jeep brand does not get a global operations chief, with Manley preferring it be overseen regionally. Tim Kuniskis who was overseeing Alfa Romeo and Maserati globally since February will assume command of Jeep in North America. Kuniskis will maintain his global lead of Alfa Romeo, with Harald Wester taking up his slack when it comes to Maserati. Wester was head of the Italian brand from August 2008 to May 2016, returning to the position after a two-year hiatus, while maintaining his role as Chief Technology Officer.
“It’s actually fairly clever putting the chief technology officer also in oversight of Maserati,” Brinley said. “It further reinforces that the high technology is going to come through that premium brand first and filter its way through.”
In the email, Manley commented that the new FCA management team is an “evolution” that he believes will best help the company achieve the targes of its newest five-year plan. “The next five years will continue to be extremely challenging for our industry, with tougher regulations, intense competition and probably slower industry growth around the world,” his email read. “Nevertheless, with a laser focus on execution and a continued flexibility that allows us to adjust as circumstances change- something that has become one of our most unique characteristics and strengths- we have a clear line of sight to achieving our five-year ambitions.”
Featured Image Credit: Espinews