MILAN (Reuters) - Industrial vehicle maker CNH Industrial (CNHI.MI) said on Monday it had appointed Chairman Suzanne Heywood as acting chief executive officer to replace Hubertus Muhlhauser, who has left the group.
“The board reached its unanimous decision and accepted the resignation of Hubertus Muhlhauser as chief executive officer, who has left the group with immediate effect,” it said in a statement.
The Italian American maker of farm machinery, Iveco commercial vehicles, construction equipment and powertrains, said Suzanne Heywood would act as CEO in addition to her role as chair of the board, to lead the company through the current “unprecedented” period and until a new permanent CEO could be identified “by means of a thorough search process”.
CNH’s top shareholder Exor (EXOR.MI), the investment firm of Italy’s influential Agnelli family, said in a separate statement it welcomed Heywood’s appointment, to provide the business with “the decisive leadership required especially in the current global context”.
“Extraordinary times require clear and effective leadership of the kind we know Suzanne Heywood will bring to her new role,” Exor Chairman and CEO John Elkann said.
CNH Industrial’s board also confirmed its “strong” support for the group’s plan - devised when Muhlhauser was CEO - to split in two and list its Iveco truck and bus and FPT engine divisions separately in an effort to boost asset values and streamline its businesses.
Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, editing by Giulia Segreti, Kirsten Donovan