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Could Fiat/Chrysler CEO Marchionne Say, “Ciao” to Italy?

Exec to discuss “strategic prospects” with Prime Minister.

by on Sep.20, 2012

Fiat Chief Executive Marchionne will be meeting with Italy's prime minister to discuss his strategic options over the weekend.

Might Fiat pull up its stakes and abandon its home base? That’s a very serious possibility, some European analysts are speculating, as the maker’s CEO Sergio Marchionne prepares for a meeting to discuss “strategic prospects” with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.

The Canadian-educated Marchionne – who has shown increasing frustration with both the broad European financial crisis and, in particular, the cost of doing business in Italy – has been hinting at such a radical move for several years.  Analysts say he is in a particularly good position to hold out that threat because of Fiat’s increasingly strong ties to Detroit-based Chrysler Group, where Marchionne also serves as CEO.

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In an interview with one of Rome’s leading papers, the executive downplayed such a radical move but observers continue to wonder what other “strategic prospects” could come up at the planned meeting with Prime Minister Monti on Saturday.


Nick Reilly to Run Opel – Temporarily

GM's Asian/International boss filling in as Euro CEO sought.

by on Nov.10, 2009

British-born Nick Reilly will temporarily fill in as Opel CEO while GM looks for a permanent replacement for former boss Carl-Peter Forster.

British-born Reilly will temporarily fill in as Opel CEO while GM looks for a permanent replacement for former boss Carl-Peter Forster.

Globe-trotting British auto executive Nick Reilly, who has been running General Motors’ big Asian operations, is relocating halfway around the world – for now, anyway, as the temporary CEO of the maker’s troubled Opel unit.

The German-based Opel is in the midst of turmoil surrounding GM’s decision to back out of its planned sale to a Canadian-Russian consortium led by the giant auto supplier Magna International.  The proposed deal, which had been forcefully backed by the German government, would have left GM a minority player, and was seen as a challenge to using Opel as a global product development center.

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Last week, Opel’s CEO Carl-Peter Forster announced his resignation.  He is expected to go to work for Jaguar-Land Rover, the British luxury marques now owned by India’s Tata Motors.  That put GM into a scramble to find a new Opel boss who could manage the reverberations of the failed sale.  German political leaders have raged about GM’s decision and German workers – who expected to get a 10% stake in the company after the sale – initially staged a walkout and withdrew an offer to grant Opel concessions.