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FCA leaders swap chairs; who’s on first?

by David Zatz on

FCA chief executive Mike Manley has officially announced a new management team.

Pietro Gorlier has been placed in charge of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, as the chief operating officer of the region. He will remain in charge of Mopar, on a global level, while Steve Beahm will take over Mopar in North America. Beahm is also head of Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat in North America.

Ermanno Ferrari is taking over Magneti Marelli, as the CEO; he is being promoted up from running the lighting division, and will join the Group Executive Council.

Harald Wester, the Chief Technology Officer, will take over Maserati as well.

Tim Kuniskis, who is in charge of Alfa Romeo globally, will run Jeep in North America. Reid Bigland, who ran Ram in 2013-14, will take over Ram once again, while remaining in charge of Canadian operations and U.S. sales.

Scott Gaberding is moving up from head of US manufacturing to head of global manufacturing; he has also run global quality and and global purchasing. In his new role, Gaberding will also be in charge of the Comau and Teksid divisions, which make manufacturing equipment. Stefan Ketter, who previously ran global manufacturing, told the board he would be stepping down at the beginning of 2018.

Finally, Richard Schwarzwald is taking over from Scott Gaberding as global head of quality, joining the Group Executive Council. Replacing him in his prior roles are Mark Champine, taking over North America quality, and Geraldo Barra, taking over Latin America quality.

The announcements were a little surprising in that they do not erase the “one person, two or three jobs” structure Sergio Marchionne used. In North America, Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat — the “car and crossover” brands — are run by the same person, while Ram and Jeep each have different operators. That might be because Chrysler and Dodge are not global brands, while Fiat is fairly minor in North America; or because the products are not as far differentiated as Ram (commercial vehicles and pickups) and Jeep (off-road-capable).

In the announcement letter, Mike Manley wrote:

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.

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