Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley, thrust unexpectedly into the leader’s chair following Sergio Marchionne’s death in early July, has called on a former Amazon executive to serve as chief operating officer.
The automaker announced Thursday that Mark Stewart, 51, ex Vice President of Operations for the online commerce giant, will take on the role of COO of the critically important North American region, removing that job from Manley’s plate. Like his predecessor, Manley wore more than one hat. Now, it’s up to Stewart to ensure that profits continue climbing in the land of Rams and Jeeps.
In a published letter to FCA employees, Manley referenced Stewart’s past gig at “a company known for its culture of innovation, and obsession with delivering incredible value to customers.” There, Stewart “led teams focusing on advanced robotics, artificial intelligence and automation methods,” he added.
Before joining Amazon, FCA’s new COO existed in the automotive realm, which is no doubt a comfort to those receiving the letter. From 2012 to 2015, Stewart served as VP of supplier ZF Group’s Asia-Pacific region, after which he took on the role of executive vice president and COO. Before his time at ZF, Stewart serves as VP and general manager of steering for U.S.-based parts supplier TRW Automotive. He joined TRW from Tower International in 2006.
While Manley focuses on the broader picture — one which includes trade concerns with China and volatility in Europe — Steward will keep his hand on the tiller of FCA’s breadbasket. Right now, it’s humming along nicely. The automaker’s U.S. sales rose 17 percent, year over year, in November, energized by a 12 percent YoY increase at Jeep and a 44 percent jump at Ram. Through the end of November, FCA sales are up 8 percent over the same period last year.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]