Ever since Mike Manley was named chief executive of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the industry has been wondering who he would name as his top lieutenants. But now we need wonder no more as Manley has named a slate of top executives to run the various brands and departments under the vast FCA corporate umbrella.
Among the new appointments are two executives who’ll be returning to the brands they ran previously. Reid Bigland will once again run the Ram brand, in addition to his responsibility for US sales and all Canadian operations. And Harald Wester returns to the top office at Maserati while maintaining his role as the group’s Chief Technology Officer.
Steve Beahm will take over the Mopar brand in North America, adding to the Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat passenger-car brands he’ll continue running in the key region. Pietro Gorlier continues as global head of Mopar but also takes over as Chief Operating Officer for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa – a role which was previously occupied by Alfredo Altavilla, one of Manley’s chief rivals, who resigned after he lost out on taking over the top job from the late Sergio Marchionne.
Manufacturing chief Stefan Ketter is also leaving the company, with Scott Garberding named to succeed him as global Chief Manufacturing Officer. He leaves the role of global Quality chief to Richard Scharzwald, with Mark Champine and Geraldo Barra supervising that area for the North American and Latin American regions.
Tim Kuniskis will take over the helm as head of the Jeep brand for North America, taking that portfolio off of Manley’s desk, and will continue as global head of Alfa Romeo as well.
Last but not least, Ermanno Ferrari joins the group as head of Magneti Marelli – the electrical component-supplier unit that FCA has been tipped to spin off into its own entity and sell. Ermanno’s last name seems to be a coincidence, but (alongside Schwarzwald) he’ll be joining the Group Executive Council – FCA’s top executive body.
Beyond the individual appointments, it’s clear from the new team of executives that Manley has every intention of continuing (at least this aspect of) his predecessor’s unusual style of delegation that saddles many of the top executives within the group with multiple (and often disparate) portfolios.