Reid Bigland, the talented executive instrumental in making the Ram Brand into a powerhouse during the last decade, has elected to retire from his posts with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.
The announcement also marked the end of legal tussle between FCA and Bigland, who also was head of FCA of Canada and head of U.S. Sales operations.
Last year, Bigland sued FCA even while he was holding three executive positions, charging that the Italian-American automotive giant withheld 90% of his 2018 compensation package because he testified in an inquiry into the company’s sales reporting practices that was mounted the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bigland claimed FCA violated Michigan’s Whistleblower Protection Act because he testified before the SEC. Bigland also alleged the company withheld his long-term incentive stock payout, special dividends and an annual bonus, according to court documents the dividends alone are worth about $1.8 million.
The lawsuit was set aside as Bigland announced his attention to leave the company April 22, to pursue other interests after what the company described as “22 years of dedicated service.”
Commenting on Bigland’s service to the company, Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. said, “I would like to thank Reid for his years of tireless leadership and many valued contributions to the company. We all wish him every success in his future endeavors.”
Bigland said, “It has been a privilege to have been part of the FCA family and to have worked alongside our dealer business partners.”
FCA also announced the appointment of three executives to fill the posts now held by Bigland, who oversaw the growth of Ram brand as it moved past General Motors’ Chevrolet Brand in truck sales in 2019.
Jeff Kommor will become Head of U.S. Sales, David Buckingham, will become Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, FCA Canada, and Mike Koval, was named as Interim Head of Ram Brand, North America.
All three will report to Mark Stewart, chief operating officer, FCA North America.