Is Fiat-Chrysler the next company to change its CEO? image

As General Motors already disclosed it will have a new CEO beginning with 2014 and Ford is also preparing for the change at the top, our eyes should turn to the Italian-US alliance to see who will succeed Sergio Marchionne.

But as the CEO succession spotlight turns to Fiat-Chrysler it is still anybody’s guess who will replace Marchionne, and what kind of management structure the company will install when the Italian steps down.

With Chrysler in a federally imposed quiet period because of its initial public offering, the company is officially mum on who comes next or when. But one thing is clear: who comes next will have much work still to be done.

Fiat and Chrysler still are not fully integrated and have separate management structures that report to a 20-member steering committee called the Group Executive Council. Marchionne, 61, is head of Fiat and Chrysler, Fiat-Chrysler’s North American region, as well as other Fiat-owned companies. That structure could remain as it is, or the top jobs could be split among two or more people.

The latest report on on Marchionne’s replacement came in an interview with the French weekly magazine Le Point, published in October. Marchionne said that his “successor is among” the 20 members of Fiat-Chrysler’s Group Executive Council.

The Fiat-Chrysler Group Executive Council meets monthly, either in Italy, the United States, or occasionally in Brazil or China, and approves strategies and investments for both automakers and associated operations. About half of the council is made up of Chrysler executives, though several wear multiple hats in Marchionne’s management structure. The remainder comes from Fiat’s top executive ranks.

Still, Marchionne has hedged on when he might step aside. In 2012 he said “No earlier than 2013, no later than 2015, ” but then in 2013 he added, “I could be here in 2016.” Also this year, at a meeting of Exor, the Agnelli family investment company that controls Fiat and Fiat Industrial, Chairman John Elkann said Marchionne would likely stay beyond 2015.

Via Automotive News Europe