FCA CEO Mike Manley to lead Americas operations for newly formed Stellantis

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Mike Manley, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, will head up Americas operations when the automaker's merger with French automaker Groupe PSA is complete, according to a letter from FCA chairman John Elkann to employees Friday.

In announcing the news, Elkann cited Manley's leadership following the 2018 death of Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive who merged Fiat SpA and the former Chrysler Group, as well as Manley's leadership throughout the coronavirus crisis and his prior experience heading up FCA's most lucrative brands. 

"Perhaps it should be no surprise that having led the profound transformation and exceptional development of the Jeep and Ram brands before becoming our CEO, Mike has taken the rough terrain of the past couple of years in his stride," Elkann wrote. "We have been fortunate indeed to have him as our CEO."

Mike Manley

Carlos Tavares, currently CEO of PSA, will become CEO of the newly formed Stellantis NV once the deal is complete. The French and Italian-American automakers are combining via a 50-50 stock split in a deal that would create the fourth-largest automaker in the world by sales volume. The merger is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

Manley will address FCA employees during a town hall meeting Friday, according to the letter. A native of the United Kingdom, he was appointed CEO of FCA in July 2018, days before the death of Marchionne in a Zurich hospital.

Manley previously served as the automaker's head of Jeep brand, head of Ram brand, and chief operating officer for the Asia Pacific region. He was the lead Chrysler Group executive for Chrysler's international activities outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a company bio.

He also previously served as executive vice president for international sales and global product planning operations. Manley joined what was then DaimlerChrysler AG in 2000 as director of network development in the United Kingdom.

As CEO of FCA, Manley originally pursued a merger with French automaker Renault SA that ultimately fell through amid recriminations of meddling by French government officials. The agreement with PSA was announced a year ago.

Under the terms of the deal, PSA will name six people to the 11-member Stellantis board, while FCA will name five. Manley will not be on the board; Tavares and Elkann will be.

Manley had previously said he would remain with the automaker in an unspecified senior executive role. Sources familiar with the situation told The Detroit News at the time of the deal's announcement last year that Manley's role likely would be focused on North America — home to what are expected to be the most profitable brands for the combined company.

As CEO of FCA, Manley has committed to major investments in Michigan. The automaker is investing $1.6 billion in the new Mack Assembly Plant in Detroit, where it will build an unnamed new full-size Jeep SUV. The facility is the city's first new assembly plant in nearly three decades. The adjacent Jefferson North Assembly Plant is also getting a $900 million update.

“One of the things we believe in as a very large global organization is the places where we invest in, where we have big facilities, that we should be in that community, and we should look like that community,” Manley told The News in a recent interview. “We want to be able to provide great employment for people in that community.”


Twitter: @JGrzelewski

Staff Writer Breana Noble contributed to this report.