TURIN -- New Fiat Auto CEO Herbert Demel is opting for a leaner decision-making structure as he tightens his control over the struggling automaker.
A steering committee is the heart of Fiat Auto decisions. The nine-person team led by Demel will oversee new products, new engines, international strategies and the state of the company's alliances. The committee will also approve investments and budgets.
Demel will be joined on this board by the heads of Fiat's four business units plus the directors of human resources, finance, financial services and the GM-Fiat worldwide purchasing joint venture.
The team will meet twice a month.
The second committee, which won't include the human resources and GM-Fiat purchasing directors, will meet monthly to review the past, current and future month's key indicators to determine their impacts on each business unit.
This committee also will discuss new models and assess investment possibilities based on approved targets.
The new committees are a radical change. In the past, much larger groups made all major decisions. Demel has halved the number of people involved in key decisions. Surprisingly, the heads of product and process engineering and quality are not members of the two key committees.
From 1998 until last month, Fiat Auto had two committees that ran the business. The first was a Comitato di Settore, or sector committee, of about 20 directors who met weekly or monthly depending on company needs. The second was a 150-person committee that included sector committee members plus the first level of management. This group met once or twice a year.
New versions of those two committees survive.
A 19-person executive committee meets every two months to discuss Fiat finances, sales and quality as well as its innovation and relaunch plans. Demel and Fiat's directors are part of this team.
A 100-person coordination committee meets twice a year to communicate new guidelines and information about the company's strategies, plans, programs, results and forecasts. Demel, Fiat's directors and its top managers make up this group.