When Mike Manley took the helm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) as CEO, it left a lot of questions about who would take over his position as head of both the Jeep and Ram brands, as well as who would run the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region for the company. He also had to fill a position after Alfredo Altavilla left the company, when he formally found out Manley was chosen over him for the CEO position. This left European region without a COO, and Manley took the spot over till he could name an announcement.
Today, Manley sent an e-mail to FCA employees announcing the changes in management effective immediately…
In the last 60 days, I have travelled between our APAC, EMEA and NAFTA regions and I’m looking forward to my trip to LATAM in the next few weeks. I’ve been able to meet with many of you and to discuss our roadmap to delivering the commitments in the Five-Year Business Plan we laid out on June 1st. Having been deeply involved in the development of the plan, I can tell you that it was created with the sure knowledge that we have the depth and breadth of talent and skills we need to meet our objective of becoming one of the world’s most profitable automakers.
I’m not saying we’ll not have challenges to overcome. 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. 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.
One key element in the plan is to ensure that our leadership team is best aligned to our objectives going forward. We have an outstanding team here at FCA with extensive experience and an exceptional record of success and I’m pleased today to announce the following evolution in our leadership roles as we begin to implement our new plan:
Pietro Gorlier is named Chief Operating Officer (COO) of our EMEA region. Pietro has a proven track record of commercial and industrial expertise with FCA. 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. Pietro will retain the role as head of Mopar Globally. Steve Beahm will assume responsibilities for Mopar in the North America region, while continuing in his role as Head of the Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat Brands in North America.
Ermanno Ferrari is named CEO of Magneti Marelli. Ermanno most recently served as the Head of Magneti Marelli’s lighting division, its largest business unit, and previously worked throughout Marelli’s various business lines, including senior level roles in the Shock Absorber and Suspension businesses. In his new role, Ermanno will join the Group Executive Council (GEC).
Harald Wester is named Chief Operating Officer of Maserati. Harald will maintain his role as Chief Technology Officer. He has a deep understanding of the premium brand market place, and this appointment will also enable him to apply the most advanced of our technologies to our premium brand, Maserati.
Tim Kuniskis is named Head of Jeep Brand North America. Tim will maintain his responsibilities as Global Head of Alfa Romeo and will apply his proven skills in product and marketing to two of the industry’s most cherished brands, both of which have significant growth ambitions in our five-year plan.
Reid Bigland is named Head of Ram Brand. Reid previously led the Ram Brand in 2013 – 2014 which, under his leadership, experienced sales growth of nearly 50 percent. With the new Ram Light Duty Truck nearing full production and the new Ram Heavy Duty planned to come to market in mid-2019, Reid has the right products and the skills to take Ram to the next level. Reid will maintain his roles leading our Canadian operations and U.S. sales.
Scott Garberding is named Global Chief Manufacturing Officer. Scott has nearly 30 years of industrial experience at FCA, including leading North American manufacturing, our global Purchasing organization when he was based in Italy, and most recently global Quality. Scott has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of our world-wide manufacturing system and of the people that work in our plants.
Comau and Teksid will report directly to Scott, ensuring that we are optimizing and maximizing our application of those products and services in our manufacturing operations.
Scott succeeds Stefan Ketter who at the beginning of this year notified us of his plans to step down from his role at FCA. On behalf of all the many colleagues with whom he has worked so closely, I want to express our warm thanks to Stefan for his valued contribution over the years.
Richard Schwarzwald is named Global Head of Quality. Richard succeeds Scott Garberding in the role and brings over 25 years of automotive quality and supplier quality experience. Richard has most recently led our Quality organization in Latin America, and previously held senior leadership positions at several automotive OEMs and suppliers. I would like to congratulate Richard and his team in Latin America for making significant quality improvements, particularly for Jeep, including achieving 1st Quartile for Jeep Renegade in a most recent independent rating survey. In his new role, Richard will join the Group Executive Council (GEC). In related changes, Mark Champine assumes responsibility for Quality in North America, and Geraldo Barra assumes responsibility for Quality in Latin America.
Today’s announcements further align our leadership structure to the achievement of the targets set out in our five-year plan. These appointments ensure that we will maintain our focus on the highest degree of execution and excellence in each of our regions and across our functional groups. They also provide the appropriate support to our broad-based brand portfolio and reinforce our disciplined approach to capital allocation.
My congratulations to those leaders taking up new roles. And my thanks to you all for your continued dedication to the everyday task of ensuring that FCA continues to meet and then exceed the needs and expectations of our customers worldwide.
While many people expected Head of Ram North America, Jim Morrison to take over the Ram brand globally, it seems Reid Bigland who was lead the brand back in 2013 and 2014. Bigland was appointed Head of U.S. Sales in June 2011 and named a member of the Group Executive Council (GEC) in September 2011. In this role, he has full responsibility for sales strategy, dealer relations and operations, order facilitation, incentives, fleet and field operations. He also serves as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of FCA Canada, a position he was named to in July 2006.
Mr. Bigland has also served as Head of Alfa Romeo and Maserati, the NAFTA Head of Alfa Romeo, President and CEO of the Ram brand, and President and CEO of the Dodge brand. Prior to joining the Group, he served as President of Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, a South Carolina-based company.
We are happy to hear that Tim Kuniskis will be leading the Jeep brand. Kuniskis, is a diehard gearhead and car enthusiast. Kuniskis was named Global Head of Alfa Romeo and Maserati in February 2018. Maserati will now be lead by Harald Wester. He has been a member of the Group Executive Council (GEC) for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) since October 2015. The GEC is the highest management-level decision-making body within the FCA organization.
Prior to his current roles, Kuniskis served as Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America since October 2015. Previously, Kuniskis was President and CEO – Dodge brand and SRT brand, FCA – North America, a position he held since April 2013.
It appears that Steve Beahm will continue to be the Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America in February 2018. In this role, he has full responsibility for sales and marketing for the Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT Brands. But he will also run the Mopar brand for North America, still reporting to Pietro Gorlier who will still be the head of Mopar Globally.
Previously, he was Head of Maserati, FCA – North America since June 2017. He was named Head of Supply Chain Management, FCA – North America in 2014 and served as Vice President – Sales Operations, FCA US LLC, where he was responsible for sales planning and incentives, retail sales promotions, dealer relations, field operations for sales, small business sales and Certified Pre-owned Vehicle sales.
Pietro Gorlier has been Chief Operating Officer of Components since June 30, 2015. He has also been a member of the Group Executive Council (GEC) and Head of Parts & Service – MOPAR since September 1, 2011.
Mr. Gorlier was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer – MOPAR Brand Service, Parts and Customer Care, Chrysler Group LLC, in June 2009. He had shared accountability with the brands, responsible for parts and services growth and delivery, and an integrated world class approach to customer support.
Harald Wester was appointed Chief Technical Officer and a member of the Group Executive Council (GEC) on September 1, 2011. Previously, he was Head of Alfa Romeo and Maserati (until May 2016) and Abarth (until 2013). He will now be CEO of the Maserati brand, allowing Kuniskis to head the Jeep brand.
Manley has done is research and has put together a core team of managers, which will continue the path that was put in place on June 1st by former CEO Sergio Marchionne.