Maserati’s global chief Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, one of the car industry’s most respected figures, is leaving the Fiat Group-owned marque to “pursue other interests”.
The former Rolls-Royce chief executive, who also ran Alfa Romeo during his time with Fiat, will be replaced by Roberto Ronchi, who moves from Fiat Auto, where he was responsible for fleet and network development.
Ronchi joined Maserati as commercial director in 2002 and later took on responsibility for marketing. He moved to Fiat Auto in April 2005.
Fiat handed Kalbfell control of Maserati in addition to his Alfa duties at the start of last year. However, in September last year he was replaced as the head of Alfa by Antonio Baravalle.
Despite retaining his Maserati responsibilities, Kalbfell, who also headed Fiat’s “Polo Sportivo” planning consortium, was forced to deny claims that the management change was an attempt to curb his power.
Earlier this year, Maserati appointed Toyota marketer Mike Biscoe as marketing director (MW March 30). Previously, Ferrari Maserati had been a single Fiat Group-owned company with one management team in the UK.
Marketing director James Pillar oversaw marketing for both marques but the two brands were split and now have separate management teams and marketing departments. Andrea Antonnicola, who has been with Ferrari Maserati for 12 years, was appointed to run Maserati GB when Biscoe was appointed.