Since Chrysler's resurrection at the hands of Fiat, the public image of the company has been clearly driven by Sergio Marchionne, Fiat's CEO--and also Chrysler's CEO. But Marchionne won't be holding both posts past the end of 2011, this week announcing that he'll pick one or the other within 24 months.
The decision is one that few of us will be faced with, but it's no less human for that fact. Running two global automotive corporations, each with sub-brands and ties to other carmakers, is a task to tax even the most industrious.
Interestingly, Marchionne hasn't disclosed which company he'll stick with or which he'll leave at the end of his self-imposed deadline. That could simply be to help keep any doubt about Chrysler's future from impacting its current day-to-day operations, however.
Still, with such a full schedule facing him--Marchionne says he's working "24/7"--and two companies to run, the man at the helm is sticking to his plans for a five-year turnaround at Chrysler and continued success at Fiat.
Looking to the next 24 months of product, Marchionne's five-year plan for Chrysler disclosed a number of new or reworked models, including a the 2011 Chrysler 300 sedan, a nearly all-new Dodge Avenger and an updated Chrysler Town & Country minivan in late 2010, a number of special edition vehicles, followed in 2012 by a compact sedan sourced from Fiat. Beyond the next two years, more Fiat products will be imported and redesigned as Chryslers, including an all-new Sebring in 2013 and a B-segment car also imported from Europe.