DETROIT -- Chrysler Group has elected CEO Sergio Marchionne as board chairman and named two new board members.
Marchionne, who is also CEO of majority owner Fiat S.p.A., had said he expected to make changes to Chrysler's board by the end of August. Fiat took a 53.5 percent stake on a fully diluted basis in July when it purchased the remaining U.S. Treasury and Canadian governments' stakes in the automaker.
Chrysler said Leo Houle and John Lanaway will serve as independent directors, effective immediately. They were appointed to replace Robert Kidder, George Gosbee and Scott Stuart, who have decided to resign.
Houle, a Canadian, retired in July 2008 as chief talent officer of BCE Inc and Bell Canada, Canada's largest communications company. He is 64.
Lanaway, 60, was executive vice president and CFO of North America for McCann Erickson until June.
Houle and Lanaway were both elected to the board of CNH Global NV in 2006. The agricultural and construction equipment business is majority owned by Fiat Industrial S.p.A., which was spun off from Fiat last year.
Marchionne, 59, aims to merge Fiat and Chrysler to reduce costs and generate more than 100 billion euros ($140 billion) in revenue by 2014. He said in May that timing hasn't been decided, adding that it's not likely this year. In July, he created a 22- person group executive council, including himself, to run both automakers.
Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in June 2009 and had nine board members. Three were appointed by Fiat, then holding a 20 percent stake; four by the U.S. government; one by the Canadian government; and one by the UAW retiree health-care trust. The Turin, Italy-based automaker plans to own 58.5 percent by year's end. The UAW's trust holds the remainder.
The U.S. originally picked 3Stone Advisors LLC CEO Kidder; Stuart, founding partner of Sageview Capital LLC and former partner at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.; former Northwest Airlines Corp. CEO Douglas Steenland; and Ronald Thompson, chairman of the board of trustees for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association.
Steenland and Thompson remain on the board; Thompson was elected lead director, Chrysler said.
Gosbee, chairman and CEO of investment bank Tristone Capital Inc., was appointed by Canada.
Former Michigan Governor James Blanchard, a Democrat, was selected by the UAW trust. Representing Fiat are Marchionne, Alfredo Altavilla and Stephen Wolf, chairman of R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. and former chairman and CEO of UAL Corp. and US Airways Group Inc.