Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has named Ram truck and Jeep head Michael Manley as its chief executive officer, after medical complications forced Sergio Marchionne to step away from the company, FCA has announced.
Manley established himself as a masterful manager of FCA's Ram and Jeep brands in recent years, analysts said, and positioned himself as the logical successor to Marchionne, a dynamic and plain-spoken leader who led the company out of bankruptcy after taking control of bankrupt Chrysler in 2009 during the global financial crisis.
"Mike Manley is a logical, solid choice to replace Marchionne in light of the success of Jeep and FCA's future being dependent on the success of Jeep and other global brands," said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader.
Manley was named to the role on July 21, after "unexpected complications arose while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery that have worsened significantly in recent hours," according to an FCA statement. FCA also named Manley chief operating officer of the NAFTA region that includes commercial and retail sales in Canada and Mexico.
John Elkann, chairman of FCA's Netherlands-based holding company Exor, praised Marchionne's "management skills and unusual intelligence" as well as his "human qualities, his generosity, and the way he understood people."
Manley has been heading the Ram truck brand since October of 2015 and heading the Jeep brand since June of 2009.
Prior to those roles, he was the chief operating officer for FCA's APAC (Asia-Pacific) region. He was also the lead executive for Chrysler's international activities and was responsible for implementing the cooperation agreements for distribution of Chrysler products through Fiat's international distribution network. In December of 2008, Manley took on the role of executive vice president of international sales and global product planning operations, where he was responsible for product planning and sales activities outside North America.
Manley also served as vice president of sales strategy and dealer operations from 2003 to 2007. Manley joined DaimlerChrysler in 2000 as a director of network development for the United Kingdom.