MILAN -- The head of Fiat Chrysler's Europe, Middle East and Africa business, Alfredo Altavilla, has stepped down.
FCA's new CEO, Mike Manley, will head the EMEA region on an interim basis, the company said in a news release Monday. Altavilla will be working with Manley through the end of August to ensure a smooth transition, FCA said.
Altavilla's departure will deprive Manley of crucial management experience as he tries to steady the ship following the sudden loss of Sergio Marchionne, who was forced to relinquish his post of 14 years due to declining health.
Altavilla, along with Manley, head of Jeep, and CFO Richard Palmer, 51, was among the top candidates to succeed Marchionne when he stepped down next year. But after Marchionne fell seriously ill due to complications following surgery, the company accelerated the succession plans and on Saturday appointed Manley to succeed Marchionne.
Palmer takes on Altavilla's responsibility for global business development, FCA said.
Altavilla, 54, was a close aide to Marchionne, having overseen Fiat Chrysler operations across the globe. His resignation raises the stakes for Manley when he addresses investors Wednesday for the first time as CEO.
Manley already faced pressure to show he was capable of moving the Italian-American automaker forward without Marchionne. Now he will face questions on whether he can hold together an experienced management team or face more turmoil in executive ranks.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report.