Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne receives major international award

Marchionne To Receive Global Leadership Award; Named President of European OEM group

Sergio Marchionne, chairman and CEO, Chrysler Group and CEO of Fiat S.p.A, will receive the 2011 Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Leadership Award tomorrow night in New York City. In addition, he has been elected president of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Marchionne will receive his award from the Business Council for International Understanding at a gala being held at the New York Public Library. The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), a non-profit U.S. business association dedicated to forging relationships and promoting dialogue between business and government communities across the globe.

When Marchionne picks up his award, he will have a new title on his resume. Chrysler announced today on its media website blog that the Board of Directors of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has elected Marchionne as the association’s President for 2012. “The year 2012 will be challenging especially if the instability in the Eurozone would not be addressed,” said Marchionne. “Our association will further focus its work on three main issues: European industrial policy; sustainable mobility and transport; and international trade relations. These issues are all closely linked as the industry’s capacity to invest and innovate depends on a strong, competitive manufacturing base in Europe.” Marchionne takes over from Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division, who served as ACEA President in 2010 and 2011.

The Chrysler/Fiat CEO is being praised as a "turn-around" architect by BCIU. In a press release, the organization stated, "Marchionne has led the impressive revival of two major car companies in the last decade. Hand-picked by the Agnelli family to revitalize Italian carmaker Fiat in 2004, Marchionne turned an industry write-off into a profit-maker, repositioning an out-dated bureaucratic stalwart to an innovative and driven company.

"In 2009, Marchionne brought his trademark tenacity, drive and maniacal attention to detail to Chrysler Group where he has led the legendary automaker back from the brink. In the past two years, Marchionne and his team have posted improved sales, introduced a revamped product lineup in record time, and posted quarterly profits – just two years after the company was forced to file for bankruptcy protection and form a partnership with Fiat. Today, Marchionne continues to match the pace of the changing auto-industry by combining the strengths of both companies while capitalizing on each brand's unique offering."

What's interesting about the award is how it focuses on Marchionne's success with Chrysler in the U.S. and Fiat's success in Europe but overlooks Fiat's lack of success in Europe. Its little Fiat 500 has been well received by an adoring automotive journalism community (present scribe excluded) but has been largely ignored by the American public.

"I am honored to accept BCIU's Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Leadership Award on behalf of more than 190,000 men and women who have worked hard to restore the pride and credibility of Fiat and Chrysler, and who continue to do so with a commitment and determination," said Marchionne. "The mutual respect between our two groups will be the key to the partnership continuing to flourish, with Fiat and Chrysler people humbly working alongside each other, listening, sharing experiences, exchanging knowledge and ideas, and expanding their horizons."

Since 2003, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Global Leadership Award has been given to business executives who exemplify the definition of an international business leader by exhibiting outstanding contributions to global commerce. Marchionne extends a distinguished roster of BCIU's Global Leadership Award recipients, which includes Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman and CEO, General Electric; Mukesh D. Ambani, chairman & Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited; and the 2007 recipient and the award presenter for the evening, Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal.

"Mr. Sergio Marchionne's bold approach and can-do mindset are exemplary characteristics of a visionary business leader," said Peter Tichansky, President and CEO of BCIU. "His accomplishments at Fiat and Chrysler are testament to a CEO who can meet a company's biggest challenges while paying attention to the tiniest details and quality of its products. His determination has fueled the transformation of two legendary brands and put them firmly on the road to recovery."

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