Stellantis head of Americas Mike Manley is to take the top job at dealer AutoNation in November.
The dealer group is the largest in America and will see Brit-born Manley head back to the top after the FCA merger with PSA saw him drop down the pecking order.
Manley, 57, was in charge of FCA until January when the company merged to form Stellantis, the world’s fourth largest car maker.
As part of that merger he worked with CEO Carlos Tavares heading up the group’s most profitable arm.
Manley – who earlier in his career worked in a dealer development position in the UK for Daimler Chrysler – said: ‘After 20 incredible, challenging and enjoyable years, and with Stellantis performing so strongly under Carlos’ leadership, the time feels right for me to open a new chapter.
‘Working with Carlos to create this extraordinary company, with the constant support of our shareholders, has been a huge privilege both professionally and personally.
‘I’m so proud of our Stellantis teams for their extraordinary work and I wish Carlos and them every success as they continue their great adventure.’
AutoNation operates 300 dealerships across the States and is the first automotive retailer to have sold 13m vehicles.
Manley takes over from CEO Mike Jackson who has led the firm for 22 years.
Reuters reported comments from an investment banker who has worked with FCA who said Manley had ambitions to be CEO again.
‘I think he realised he had to wait too much time to go back to the top in Stellantis,’ the banker is reported to have said.
Manley said: ‘I am excited to join AutoNation and the executive team.
‘AutoNation has set the benchmark for automotive retail excellence. It has accomplished a number of industry first milestones, including being the only automotive retailer to sell over 13 million vehicles.
‘Most recently, the company has shown its focus and determination by producing five consecutive record-breaking quarters, during an unprecedented time.’
Tavares heaped praise on his former adversary in a statement announcing Manley’s move.
He said: ‘It’s been my privilege to know Mike first as a competitor, then as a partner and colleague in the creation of Stellantis, but most importantly, always as a friend.
‘From the very earliest days of our discussions, we shared a truly common vision, belief and commitment and it’s on these solid foundations, built over the past several years, that Stellantis has delivered its impressive early results.
‘So, while I’m personally sorry to no longer have Mike as a colleague, I’m equally delighted for his new CEO role.’
Manley will join the board of the Stellantis Foundation, the car maker’s charity.
Rick Burdick, AutoNation’s chairman, added: ‘Mike Manley brings considerable and comprehensive automotive experience to AutoNation, including strategy, business development, and a focus on operations.
‘Mike’s exceptional performance over the years aligns with AutoNation’s commitment to excellence.’