4776 FCA's Manley to head Stellantis American operations

FCA’s Manley to head Stellantis American operations

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley will become head of Americas operations for Stellantis, the automotive group that will be formed after the merger of FCA and PSA Group.

Manley, 56, was a key figure in driving forward the merger, working with PSA CEO Carlos Tavares since late 2018 to bring the two automakers together. But, unlike Tavares and FCA Chairman John Elkann, he will not have a seat on the board of directors of Stellantis. The companies are pushing to complete the merger by the end of January, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

In a letter to employees released by FCA Friday, Elkann, who is set to become Stellantis’ chairman, praised Manley’s job at FCA, from his appointment as CEO in 2018 upon the illness and death of former boss Sergio Marchionne through the merger process with PSA.

“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,” Elkann said.

“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,” Elkann said.

Manley, who is based in Detroit, will lead the North and South American operations of Stellantis, which would be the fourth-largest global automaker by volume, based on 2019 sales. The bulk of FCA’s profits come from North America, through its Jeep and Ram brands. He had also been seen as a possible candidate to lead Ferrari after CEO Louis Camilleri stepped down last week.

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Stellantis’ American operations will include Brazil and Argentina, besides the U.S. and Canada where strong sales of trucks and SUVs currently make up the bulk of FCA profits.

Before being asked to take over from Marchionne, the British-born Manley was head of the Jeep and Ram brands and of FCA’s Asia-Pacific region, including China. He joined what was then DaimlerChrysler in 2000 as director of network development for the U.K. He then held the top positions in international sales and global product planning.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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