Michael Manley Moves from Stellantis to Head AutoNation

It was announced on Tuesday that Mike Manley will step down from his role as Head of Americas for Stellantis. Manley, who oversaw the successful overhaul of Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s high-margin Jeep and RAM brands will become CEO of Florida-based AutoNation effective Nov. 1, 2021.

Michael Manley

AutoNation Inc is the NO. 1 U.S. auto retailer and had revenue of $20.4 billion in 2020. It was founded by Wayne Huizenga in 1996, and has more than 360 retail outlets.

Manley will replace long-serving CEO Mike Jackson. Jackson has been at the helm for over two decades and two previous attempts to replace him in recent years failed.

Manley took over as CEO of FCA in July 2018 Mike Manley after long-time chief Sergio Marchionne, a charismatic and iconic figure credited with saving Fiat, fell ill and died suddenly after succumbing to complications from surgery.

Manley led FCA until January 2021, when the company merged with PSA to form Stellantis, the world’s fourth-largest carmaker, a merger that he helped negotiate.

“It’s been my privilege to know Mike first as a competitor, then as a partner and colleague in the creation of Stellantis, but most importantly, always as a friend,” said Stellantis CEO, Carlos Tavares. “From the very earliest days of our discussions, we shared a truly common vision, belief and commitment and it’s on these solid foundations, built over the past several years, that Stellantis has delivered its impressive early results. So, while I’m personally sorry to no longer have Mike as a colleague, I’m equally delighted for his new CEO role and glad that he will be joining the board of the Stellantis Foundation.”

Carlos Tavares

Stellantis Foundation is the carmaker’s charitable arm. According to Manley, his 20 years with Stellantis and Tavares were mutually beneficial, and he added that he is honored that he will now serve on the board of the Stellantis Foundation.

“Working with Carlos to create this extraordinary company, with the constant support of our shareholders, has been a huge privilege both professionally and personally,” Manley said. “I’m so proud of our Stellantis teams for their extraordinary work and I wish Carlos and them every success as they continue their great adventure.”

John Elkann, the Executive Director of Stellantis, said Manley’s tenure was “transformational” as the head of the Jeep brand.

“(Mike) led the company to record results through some of its most challenging moments,” Elkann said. “Working closely with Carlos, he was instrumental in the creation and successful launch of Stellantis.”

John Elkann

The move solves a succession challenge for AutoNation, which had revenue of $20.4 billion in 2020. As CEO of AutoNation, it is reported that Manley will receive $1.3M in base salary plus major stock incentives and benefits.

Currently U.S. auto retailers are reporting bumper profits helped by sales of new and used cars at record prices.

Separately, Stellantis said its chief operating officers of North America and Latin America will now report directly to CEO Carlos Tavares.

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