AutoNation Names Mike Manley as C.E.O., Replacing Mike Jackson

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AutoNation, the automotive retail giant, has named Mike Manley, the former chief executive of Fiat Chrysler, as its chief executive, replacing Mike Jackson, who is retiring after running the company for most of the last 22 years.

Mr. Manley, 57, will start Nov. 1 at AutoNation, which operates more than 300 dealerships across the country. He will be charged with continuing the company’s growth as auto retailing is rapidly shifting from the showroom to online sales, and electric vehicles are changing how consumers interact with their cars and dealers.

“We have built an admired and respected company from coast to coast,” Mr. Jackson, 72, said in a statement. “I have every confidence Mike Manley will lead AutoNation to an even brighter future.”

Mr. Manley grew up in England and worked in a dealership before studying engineering. In 2000, he joined Chrysler — then part of DaimlerChrysler — and rose to head the Jeep brand through a period of rapid growth, playing other key roles as the automaker became Fiat Chrysler.

He was named chief executive of Fiat Chrysler in 2018, and held that post until the company merged with the French automaker Peugeot to become Stellantis. Mr. Manley headed the merged company’s North American operations but was considered unlikely to become its chief executive. He did not take part in a recent daylong strategy presentation that featured talks by more than a dozen top Stellantis executives.

Mr. Jackson turned AutoNation into a consistent profit-maker and a powerful influence in the auto industry. He stepped down as chief executive in 2019, but returned to the job less than a year later when two successors left the company after short stints.

During his tenure, AutoNation became the largest retailer of many vehicle makers, including Ford Motor and Mercedes-Benz, giving the company considerable sway over the policies and strategies of several large manufacturers.

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