The Latest: New FCA chief Manley had been seen as a star

Posted at 11:41 AM, Jul 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-21 12:41:17-04

By Associated Press

ROME (AP) – The Latest on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO (all times local):

9:45 p.m.

Jeep executive Mike Manley, who replaces the ailing Sergio Marchionne as the head of Fiat Chrysler Automobile, had been one of Marchionne's closest collaborators at the group.

Manley in a previous role had been responsible for product planning and all sales activities outside of North America.

Manley took over management of the Jeep brand in 2009, just after Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy protection. At the time, the all-SUV Jeep mainly was a U.S. brand, where annual sales languished at around 232,000. By 2017, though, sales had nearly quadrupled to more than 828,000 as Americans snapped up all-wheel-drive SUVs.

The brand also grew internationally, especially in China, under Manley.

Marchionne put Manley in charge of the Ram brand as well as Jeep in 2015. Much of Fiat Chrysler's profits come from the Ram pickup, especially in the U.S.

Manley, 54, has been with the company since 2000.


8:35 p.m.

Ailing Sergio Marchionne has been replaced as CEO of the Ferrari carmaker on the eve of an F1 race that sees Ferrari's racing team in a very strong position.

Rival Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff wished Marchionne well, hailing him as a “character and an important personality for Formula One.”

Wolff spoke Saturday, a day before the running of the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim. Hours earlier, Ferrari's board of directors voted to replace Marchionne, 66, as CEO because his health deteriorated suddenly after surgery and he is unable to work.

Ferrari's board on Saturday proposed Louis Camilleri, former chairman of Philip Morris International, as its new CEO to replace Marchionne.

Ferrari leads the drivers' and constructors' championship this year and could end four years of Mercedes dominance.


7:55 p.m.

Auto industry reaction to the announcement that Jeep executive Mike Manley will replace the ailing Sergio Marchionne as the head of Fiat Chrysler Automobile has been positive.

Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book, says Manley's “international experience in growing that brand will play a key role as he applies those techniques” to the entire company.

Gary Jones, the head of the UAW union, says that his union looks forward to working with Manley as the two sides head into the 2019 negotiations.

Michelle Kreps, an analyst at Autotrader, called Manley “a logical, solid choice to replace Marchionne” given that the company's future is dependent on the success of Jeep and its other global brands.


7:45 p.m.

Farm and industrial vehicle group CNH Industrial says its interim CEO, Derek Neilson, will continue on pending the selection of a permanent replacement for CEO Sergio Marchionne, who is in failing health.

The board of CNH on Saturday named Suzanne Heywood as chairwoman, tapping a managing director of the Fiat-founding Agnelli family's Exor investment holding company. The board held an emergency meeting Saturday following a sharp deterioration in Marchionne's health after recent surgery.

CNH manufactures farm equipment, trucks, buses and other vehicles. Marchionne spun off CNH as well as sports car maker Ferrari during his 14-year tenure at Fiat that included the merger with U.S. carmaker Chrysler.


7:15 p.m.

The board of luxury sports car maker Ferrari has proposed Louis Camilleri, former chairman of Philip Morris International, as its new CEO to replace the seriously ill Sergio Marchionne.

In a statement after an emergency board meeting Saturday, Ferrari said John Elkann, heir of the Agnelli family that founded Fiat more than 100 years ago, would take over as Ferrari chairman.

Fiat spun off Ferrari in 2015 but Marchionne remained CEO and chairman and had planned to announce in September a new five-year plan for the carmaker. No succession plans had been announced and it was widely expected that Marchionne would remain on in some capacity, even after giving up the reins of Fiat Chrysler Automobile.

Marchionne's overarching goal had been to turn Ferrari into a luxury company beyond cars to further leverage the brand.


6:50 p.m.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile announced Saturday that CEO Sergio Marchionne's health had suddenly deteriorated following surgery and that its board of directors had chosen Jeep executive Mike Manley to replace him.

Marchionne, a 66-year-old Italian-Canadian, joined Fiat in 2004 and led the Turin-based company's merger with bankrupt U.S. carmaker Chrysler. Manley, 54, had been heading the Jeep brand since June 2009 and the Ram brand from October 2015.

The announcement, at the end of an urgently convened board meeting, marked the end of the Marchionne era, which included the turnaround of failing Fiat, the takeover of bankrupt U.S. automaker Chrysler and the spinoffs of the heavy machinery and truck maker CNH and supercar maker Ferrari.

Fiat Chrysler said in a statement that due to his deteriorating health Marchionne “will be unable to return to work.”


6:35 p.m.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' board of directors has recommended that Jeep executive Mike Manley replace seriously ill Sergio Marchionne as CEO of the automaker.

A company statement said the decision was made at an urgently convened board meeting Saturday because Marchionne's health had suddenly deteriorated following recent surgery and he “will be unable to return to work.”

Marchionne, 66, had already announced he would step down in early 2019, so the board's decision, to be confirmed at an upcoming shareholders' meeting, will “accelerate” the CEO transition process.

Marchionne, an Italian-Canadian, joined Fiat in 2004 and led the Turin-based company's merger with bankrupt U.S. carmaker Chrysler as well as the spin-off of luxury sports car maker Ferrari.


1:15 p.m.

The boards of Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari and CNH Industrial were called to urgent meetings Saturday in Italy in light of executive Sergio Marchionne's surgery and prolonged convalescence.

The La Stampa daily, the hometown newspaper of Fiat's headquarters city, Turin, where the boards were summoned to separate meetings, said the huddles were called to discuss who would succeed Marchionne. The 66-year-old Italian-Canadian holds multiple leadership roles in the companies, notably as CEO of FCA – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

The CEO of Fiat since 2004, Marchionne has long said he planned to step down in 2019 as CEO of the FCA automobile manufacturer.

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