There have been a lot of questions surrounding the upcoming 50/50 merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot S.A. (Groupe PSA). One of the biggest questions centered around the current FCA CEO, Mike Manley’s position in the new company called “Stellantis”.
Manley, who was inspirational in the global expansion and success to the growth of both the Jeep® and Ram Truck brands, took over the position of CEO, after the unexpected death of former CEO, Sergio Marchionne in July 2018. Since then, Manley has realigned several of the top management positions within the company and stayed the course of Marchionne’s original plan for the company.
Marchionne made it no secret that he intended to find a partner for the Italian-American automaker to share architectures, technologies, and increased development costs of its future vehicle portfolio as restrictions, emissions, and safety have all costed the industry’s cost to develop future product has risen drastically. You might remember when Marchionne was focused on merging with American automaker, General Motors (GM).
Manley followed suit with the agreed equal merger with Groupe PSA and looks to be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2021, pending final agreements and approvals. Together, the two companies will create the fourth-largest automaker by volume, globally.
With Groupe PSA CEO Carlos Tavares taking the CEO helm of the new company “Stellantis”, it has left the question if Manley will stick around or leave the company. Recent rumors had Manley at the top spot at Ferrari, the Italian automaker majority-owned by the Agnelli family, the same family with a huge stake of ownership in FCA. Instead, current FCA Chairman John Elkann, who is a member of the Agnelli family and future Chairman of Stellantis has taken the CEO position of Ferrari as of December 10th, 2020.
Elkann, released the following statement to the employees at FCA this morning, shedding light on Manley’s future position within the new company…
As we come to the end of 2020 – a year unlike any other we have known – we’re also fast approaching the day when we will begin our next chapter with the creation of Stellantis.
As you know it has been agreed that Carlos Tavares will become the CEO of the new company and that Mike will play a fundamental role in the future success of Stellantis.
Mike’s and Carlos’ early meeting of minds – thanks also to a longstanding working friendship – has been critical to every subsequent stage of our discussions with Groupe PSA as it will be for the new company going forward.
Mike championed the extraordinary potential of this industry-changing merger from its earliest days and he has also set the tone for all the great work that has been done by the FCA teams working with our PSA soon-to-be-colleagues, from before the merger announcement a year ago to where we are today, precisely twelve months later.
The challenges we have faced as a group in recent years have been tougher than ever. Mike took the helm of our company under the most difficult of circumstances, with Sergio’s cruel and premature passing in July 2018, and he took us out of those dark days, leading by example. The following year, 2019, can hardly be described as uneventful, but even so we concluded it by sealing our historic merger with Groupe PSA and with another set of very strong results. 2020, a year whose like none of us could have imagined, has required us all to reinvent the way we work, and once again Mike has led from the front making sure to protect you and your work, staying close to our communities and ensuring that our company with all of your contributions has performed to the highest standards.
The fact that as FCA we are entering this new and exciting era in such very strong, robust shape is a great tribute to him and his leadership style, centred around diversity, respect and collaboration, just as it is to all of you and your extraordinary achievements right across the company. The performance we announced for the third quarter was truly outstanding, in fact an all-time record in terms of group and North America results.
Perhaps it should be no surprise that having led the profound transformation and exceptional development of the Jeep and Ram brands before becoming our CEO, Mike has taken the rough terrain of the past couple of years in his stride. We have been fortunate indeed to have him as our CEO. And so, you will understand why I’m delighted to be able to inform you today that once our merger completes – hopefully soon in the new year – Mike will be asked to take up the role of Head of Americas, working alongside Carlos and continuing to bring his great experience, energy and drive to making Stellantis the extraordinary company we know it will be.
He will share his own words with you in his Town Hall meeting later today, but please join me now in appreciation of his leadership over these past two and half years, warmly congratulating him on his new role.
John Elkann ”
So it seems that Manley will be overseeing the Americas (the biggest market in volume, globally) for Stellantis. Manley, has experience in running overall operations for a region, as he not only served as CEO for the Jeep and Ram Truck brands but also served as the COO for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
Stockholders will vote to approve the merger on January 4th, 2021. The two companies hope to have the merger completed by the end of the first quarter of 2021.