For the past two years, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne has been taunting the automotive press with retiring after 2018. Many of the automotive media have the questioned him about who is successor would be, especially this past month at the company’s “Capital Markets Day” event to discuss the company’s next 5-year plan. However, Marchionne has been very quiet about who his successor would be.
Many people assumed that his successor would be FCA Executive Director, John Elkann, who holds several titles in the company as well as being an heir to the majority holder (the Angelli Family) of the company. Many other automotive sources said that Marchionne was looking for someone outside the company to man the helm after his departure, while many inside the company said that FCA Canada and former brand CEO Reid Bigland and Ram and Jeep CEO Mike Manley were in line for the top job.
This weekend the 66-year old Marchionne, has been placed on medical leave immediately due to undisclosed medical reasons has stepped down as CEO of the company he built. The FCA board members met Saturday to discuss the issue and appointed Mike Manley to replace Marchionne, effective immediately.
Manley, who has been with Chrysler since 2000 has had an extensive background with the company. He served as Director of Network Development in the United Kingdom, which brought him extensive experience in the automotive global field at a distribution level. He became CEO of the Jeep brand in 2009 and has since brought the brand to be the FCA’s sales leading brand. He was also the Executive Vice President of International Sales and Global Product Planning Operations, in which he lead all product planning and sales outside of North America. Manley also was Chief Operating Officer of the Asia (APAC) market, until taking over as CEO of the Ram brand in 2015.
Manley, is beloved in the Mopar community and his very passionate about the core and soul of the particular Mopar brands. There is no doubt he will continue the path that Marchionne was leading the company down. As of right now, no one has been announced to replace Manley in the roles that he currently holds in the company. However, FCA should be announcing replacements soon.