British engineer catapulted to the top of one of the world’s biggest car firms
A British engineer has been catapulted to the top of one of the world’s biggest car firms.
Jeep boss Mike Manley is taking over at £22 billion parent company Fiat Chrysler after its legendary leader Sergio Marchionne, 66, fell seriously ill at the weekend following surgery.
Manley’s rival for the top job, the head of Fiat Chrysler’s Europe business Alfredo Altavilla, resigned yesterday after being overlooked.
At the top table: Jeep boss Mike Manley is taking over at Fiat Chrysler
Manley, 54, is now trying to steady the Italian-American company, which is due to announce quarterly results tomorrow.
The world’s eighth biggest car firm, Fiat Chrysler made sales of around £100 billion last year. Manley is under pressure to deliver on his predecessor’s promises, including catching up on electric cars and boosting production of SUVs.
Marchionne, a revered figure, is credited with rescuing Fiat and pushing through its merger with bankrupt Chrysler in 2009.
Manley joined Daimler Chrysler in 2000 and was made head of Jeep in 2009. Its sales soared from 337,000 in 2008 to 1.4m last year, and its cars have also been selling well outside the US.
Analysts said Manley was a logical choice given how reliant the firm is on Jeep. A piece in Forbes last weekend described Manley and Marchionne as ‘no-nonsense workaholics’.