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Sergio Marchionne Steps Down, New FCA CEO Is Jeep Executive Mike Manley

After 14 years of turning Fiat and Chrysler around to profitability, Sergio Marchionne has stepped down from its role. Even though the sweater-wearing chief executive officer planned to pass his role within FCA onto a successor in 2019, Marchionne had to do it in July 2018 because of his worsening health condition.
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Photo: FCA
From a letter sent to staff by president John Elkann, it is understood Marchionne recently underwent surgery. But unfortunately, the 66-year-old executive “experienced complications that have worsened in recent hours.” As of July 23rd, the longtime head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles remains in the intensive care unit.

It’s believed his medical condition comes in part from complications of a shoulder surgery Marchionne underwent toward the end of June 2018. The Italian-Canadian executive stepped down from his role on Saturday, and to this effect, Mike Manley has been named as his successor. The nomination shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the results of Jeep (and Ram Trucks) under the command of the British exec.

Born in Edenbridge, United Kingdom in 1964, Manley worked for Renault, Peugeot, and Lex Autosales before he joined Daimler Chrysler as network development director in the United Kingdom. Transferred in the United States in 2003, the Brit became executive vice-president of planning & sales for Chrysler in the year 2008.

As the head of Jeep since 2009, Manley managed to improve sales from 320,000 vehicles in 2009 to 1,401,321 in 2016. Deliveries declined to 1,388,208 in 2017, and despite the 2 million sales planned for 2018, the SUV brand is likely to miss this target as well. The biggest reason for this contraction is the reduction of fleet sales, with Jeep now focused on retail markets more than ever before.

“Mr. Manley and his management team will proceed with the implementation of the 2018 – 2022 Business Plan as presented on June 1st of this year,” according to a statement from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, “a plan that will further assure FCA’s strong and independent future.” As part of the plan, Jeep will slowly but steadily phase out diesel in favor of hybridization and complete electrification.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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