News Column

Chrysler Shuffles Executive Ranks

April 16, 2013
Fred Diaz at Ram Truck Brand. (Photo: Chrysler Group LLC)
Fred Diaz at Ram Truck Brand. (Photo: Chrysler Group LLC)

Chrysler moved quickly, naming Reid Bigland the new CEO of Ram trucks, after Fred Diaz decided to leave for a marketing executive job at Nissan.

Bigland, 46, will remain head of Chrysler's U.S. sales and president and CEO of Chrysler Canada, but Timothy Kuniskis will take over his title as CEO of Dodge.

Bigland joined Chrysler in July 2006 after working for Freightliner. As head of sales for Chrysler, Bigland, who joined the automaker in 2006 from Freightliner, has overseen 36 consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases in the U.S.

Kuniskis, who has lead the Fiat brand in North America, hands that responsibility to Jason Stoicevich, who will remain director of the of Chrysler's California Business Center.

Meanwhile, Bruno Cattori was appointed president and CEO of Chrysler de Mexico, a role Diaz previously filled.

Rebecca Lindland, consultant for Rebel Three Media Grennwich, Conn., noted that Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne picked insiders for all of the spots.

"I think that the speed is not entirely surprising because of how well he knows his team," Lindland said.

Chrysler has groomed its internal management ranks since 2009 when it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy with Fiat as its controlling shareholder, Lindland said.

Marchionne, in a statement, said the appointments are part of his strategy to cultivate the company's leadership ranks.

"They are a further confirmation of the depth of our talent pool and of the exceptional opportunities that are available to our people as part of their career development," Marchionne said.

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(c)2013 the Detroit Free Press

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Source: Copyright Detroit Free Press (MI) 2013