11.12.2007 LUCA DE MEO TO TAKE OVER AT ALFA ROMEO

LUCA DE MEO

The recently appointed Chief Marketing Officer for the Fiat Group and an undoubted rising star Luca De Meo (above, at the Frankfurt IAA in September) is to become the new CEO of the Alfa Romeo brand.

The recently appointed Chief Marketing Officer for the Fiat Group and an undoubted rising star Luca De Meo is to become the new CEO of the Alfa Romeo brand, replacing Antonio Baravalle who is leaving the group for a new position with an Italian publishing group.

Baravalle took over as CEO of the Alfa Romeo division from a similar position at Lancia in September 2005, but has been looking to leave the group for sometime. De Meo meanwhile has steered the Fiat brand through its burgeoning revival over the last few years, introducing acclaimed models such as the Grande Punto and Bravo, and most recently overseeing the launch of the hugely successful new 500.

In mid September De Meo somewhat surprisingly left his role as Fiat brand CEO to become Chief Marketing Officer for the Fiat Group. This new position was said to offer a very wide ranging brief across the Fiat Group, Including Iveco and CNH Global, and the highly-regarded De Meo, who is thought of as a favourite to assume the Auto Division CEO's position when Sergio Marchionne relinquishes the role in the future, is expected be able to fully utilise his marketing strengths in the new job.

"In this newly created role Mr. De Meo is responsible for all brand marketing related activities across all Fiat Group Sectors," said a statement issued by Fiat at the time. "His contribution to the rejuvenation and relaunch of the Fiat Brand in a short period of time puts him on an ideal position to promote the various Fiat Group Brands and develop new marketing capabilities across the Group. Mr. De Meo will become full member of the Group Executive Council," it added.

De Meo also retained responsibility for the Abarth brand, which he launched during his tenure as the Fiat brand CEO. Now he adds Alfa Romeo to his brief. Marchionne revealed the news today, saying: "The way Luca De Meo has dealt with big challenges with commitment, passion and determination is the best guarantee for the relaunch of Alfa Romeo and for the development of marketing for all the Fiat group brands."

Alfa Romeo is presently gearing up for a relaunch in the United States, after almost a decade and a half away, and Marchionne believes that De Meo's position as Chief Marketing Officer and Alfa Romeo CEO will see him "in the ideal position to follow one of the most important projects of the brand, its return in the US."
 

2007 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed