October 7, 2015 — Management changes at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles happen so often, they normally amount to nothing more than press release fodder. But three changes that were announced this week might provide a hint as to which executives are moving up the ladder and possibly be in the running for the top job when Sergio Marchionne decides to retire. And the executives who might be on the inside track are Timothy Kuniskis, Reid Bigland and Michael Manley.
The moves also further separate FCA’s passenger cars brands from its truck/SUV brands by placing them under different executives.
Timothy Kuniskis, who most recently ran Dodge and fleet operations for North America, is joining the Group Executive Council (GEC) now heads up the passenger car operations taking over the leadership of the Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat brands. Kuniskis also ran Fiat of North America a few years ago and was a marketing director for Chrysler. Al Gardner, who had been running Chrysler, will still report to Marchionne and continue to lead FCA’s network development in North America.
Jason Stoicevich, former head of Fiat in North America, now leads U.S. fleet operations and small business sales along with heading up the California Business Center
Meanwhile, Michael Manley is now responsible for the truck and SUV brands adding oversight of the Ram truck operations to his current responsibilities of leading Jeep while serving as COO of FCA’s Asia Pacific operations.
Reid Bigland takes over NAFTA Fleet Operations but will continue to lead sales in North America in addition to serving as chairman, president and CEO of FCA Canada along with running Alfa Romeo in North America.
In other news, Maserati’s global chief marketing officer Saad Chehab has resigned due to personal reasons. Chehab is widely credited with coming up with Chrysler’s popular “Imported from Detroit” tagline a few years.