Another leadership shake-up at Alfa Romeo and Maserati has taken place. Today, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced Reid Bigland will take over from Harald Wester as the CEO for the two brands. Wester will remain as FCA's chief technology officer, and Bigland will continue as the head of U.S. and Canadian sales.
"I am thankful for the work Harald has carried out in the last few years establishing a sound technical framework for our two premium brands and which has culminated in the recent launch of the Maserati Levante and the Alfa Romeo Giulia" said FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne in a statement.
"It is time now for our efforts to be directed towards the global commercial expansion of these two brands, and I can think of no one better than Reid to fulfill that mission.”
Bigland inherits what can be described as a 'comedy of errors'. The relaunch of Alfa Romeo is considerably over budget according to supplier sources to Automotive News. Meanwhile, countless delays have pushed back the launch of the Giulia (on sale at the end this month for Europe, fall for the U.S.) and Alfa's first SUV - the Stelvio - has been pushed back to early next year. Originally, Alfa Romeo was supposed to have eight models by 2018. This has been pushed back to 2020.
Maserati isn't faring much better with profits falling and a lineup that is aging. The Levante SUV has been plagued by delays. European sales only began this month, with U.S. sales starting in October.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Press Release is on Page 2
FCA Announces Leadership Changes
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) announces the following leadership changes with immediate effect:
Reid Bigland is named as the Chief Executive of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands. Reid has held a number of Sales and Brand Leadership positions within FCA, and is currently the Head of US Sales and the Chief Executive of FCA Canada, positions that he will continue to hold.
Harald Wester, who has led the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands until now, will be able to devote his full attention to the role of Chief Technology Officer for FCA, a role which he held while developing the technical basis for the Maserati and Alfa Romeo products and brands, and which have now achieved a high level of maturity.
“I am thankful for the work Harald has carried out in the last few years establishing a sound technical framework for our two premium brands and which has culminated in the recent launch of the Maserati Levante and the Alfa Romeo Giulia. It is time now for our efforts to be directed towards the global commercial expansion of these two brands, and I can think of no one better than Reid to fulfill that mission. Reid has an extraordinary record of growing sales and market share in the US and Canada over the last 7 years at FCA, including leading the growth and positioning of the Ram and Dodge brands for part of that time.” added Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer of FCA.
Reid Bigland and Harald Wester will continue to serve on the Group Executive Council (GEC). The Group Executive Council is the highest management body in FCA, and is chaired by the Chief Executive and is comprised of the senior functional and operating heads of the global organization.