AUBURN HILLS, MI - Chrysler Group LLC announced brand and commercial organization changes on Oct. 5, splitting Dodge-brand vehicles into the Dodge Ram Brand or Dodge Car Brand classifications.
With Dodge Ram truck now a separate brand from Dodge cars, the Caliber, Avenger, Nitro, and Journey are now in their own marketing group.
"The brand-focused strategy has been refined further with the unbundling of the Dodge Brand which now consists of the Dodge Ram Brand and the Dodge Car Brand organizations. This reorganization will allow us to protect and develop the unique nature of the product offerings within the Dodge Brand," Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer, Chrysler Group LLC said in a statement.
Fred Diaz Jr. is appointed president and CEO, Dodge Ram Brand with profit and loss responsibility for the Dodge Ram product portfolio. Diaz will also be the lead executive for the Sales organization in the United States. He was previously the director of the Denver Business Center. Diaz has been with the company since 1989 in positions of increasing responsibility.
Ralph Gilles is appointed president and CEO, Dodge Car Brand with profit and loss responsibility for the Dodge Car product portfolio. Gilles will continue to lead the Product Design organization of Chrysler Group which he joined in 1992.
Olivier Francois is appointed president and CEO, Chrysler Brand, with profit and loss responsibility for the Chrysler product portfolio. Francois joins the company from Fiat Group Automobiles, where he will continue to serve as head of the Lancia Brand. Francois will also be the lead executive for the Marketing organization with responsibility to coordinate worldwide marketing strategies, brand development and advertising for the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge Car, and Dodge Ram brands. He will continue to lead these functions within Fiat Group Automobiles. Francois joined Fiat in 2005.
Michael Manley will continue as the president and CEO, Jeep Brand with profit and loss responsibility for the Jeep Brand product portfolio. Manley will also be the lead executive for the international activities of the Company outside of NAFTA and will be responsible for implementing the co-operation agreements for distribution of Chrysler Group products through Fiat's international distribution network. Manley has been with Chrysler since 1998.
Joseph Veltri joins the Management Team as Head of Product Planning. Veltri started with Chrysler in 1988. His career has included positions in product planning, marketing, business strategy, and finance. He served most recently as Product Planning Lead and Head of Truck/SUV Planning.
Peter Fong, head of the Chrysler Brand, has resigned for personal reasons. Michael Accavitti, head of the Dodge Brand has resigned to pursue other interests, according to the automaker.