Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne had been expected to take the chief role at Chrysler post-bankruptcyEnlarge Photo
"Marchionne will be the new chief executive of Chrysler after the procedure," a Fiat spokesman told to the Associated Press about a week ago, referring to bankruptcy protection for Chrysler and clearance by a U.S. courts for a rescue by Fiat to go ahead. Instead, C. Robert Kidder, former Chairman of Borden Chemical Inc. and of Duracell International Inc., will succeed current CEO Robert Nardelli to become Chairman of Chrysler Group LLC, once it completes its acquisition of the operating assets of Chrysler LLC and completes a global alliance with Fiat SpA.
"We are most fortunate that Bob Kidder will lead the new company through its transformation," said Nardelli. "My number one priority has been to preserve Chrysler and the livelihoods of thousands of people who depend on its success. With his broad expertise serving on numerous world-class boards and his accomplished business background, Bob will provide the leadership and strategic counsel that will help to create a strong global competitor moving forward."
Kidder is optimistic about Chrysler's future with Fiat, especially with its soon-to-be-lighter profile. “I am pleased to join Chrysler at a time when Chrysler is poised to launch an exciting new era,” said Kidder. "I am confident that Chrysler will emerge from Chapter 11 a lean and powerful competitor, combining its own rich history of innovation with Fiat's technology and expertise to invigorate the American car market and to challenge other car companies around the globe."
Other issues that still need to be settled, however, include who will be placed on the new Chrysler board of directors. Previous reports have suggested that there are plans to include board members from Chrysler, Fiat and even the auto industry task force.
Problems that could get in the way involve the complex ownership situation affecting Chrysler, with Chrysler's debt holders and the UAW involved in difficult negotiations on how to administer the company.