AutoNation Inc. may have finally found a worthy successor for outgoing CEO Mike Jackson.
The nation's largest public dealership group last week said that it hired Mike Manley, former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO, to replace Jackson effective Nov. 1. Manley is currently head of Americas for Stellantis — the company formed when PSA Group and FCA merged in January.
The hire comes three years after AutoNation's initial CEO search and after two other people had monthslong stints as chief executive. Jackson had said his first replacement, industry outsider Carl Liebert, wasn't a good fit. The next CEO, longtime AutoNation CFO Cheryl Miller, took medical leave months after her promotion and never returned.
Few could match the outgoing pundit's one-liners and cheeky personality, but when it comes to repertoire and resume, Manley is one of the most qualified auto executives AutoNation could find.
Before Jackson's more than two-decade tenure at AutoNation, he was CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. Now Manley is making a similar transition from automaker to retailer.
Before he joined DaimlerChrysler in 2000, Manley worked for dealerships in the United Kingdom, where he led the German-American company's network development. He also held posts heading Jeep and Ram brands.