News - General News
FCA executive John Kett departs company
Departed: The FCA executive responsible for Australia, John Kett, has suddenly left the company.
Expat Australian Kett leaves top job at FCA Asia-Pacific ‘to pursue other interests’
23 July 2015
FIAT Chrysler Automobile’s Australian-born vice-president and Asia-Pacific
general manager John Kett unexpectedly left the company this week after more
than seven years as a key figure behind the automotive giant’s operations in
His immediate departure “to pursue other interests” was announced in a
statement from the company’s global headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan,
The statement said APAC region chief operating officer (and president and CEO
of the Jeep brand worldwide) Mike Manley would, on an interim basis, “assume
Kett’s responsibilities with the assistance of his other executives in the
region, to support the China growth strategy”.
“China is an important area of growth for our brand and our business and has
grown into the number-one Jeep market outside of the United States,” Mr Manley
“We appreciate the contributions made by John in that regard and we will
continue to deepen our relationship with our joint-venture partner, GAC, to
support that strategy.”
As well as being responsible for China, Mr Kett – who began his automotive
career with Holden in 1989 – had overseen the broader Asia-Pacific region,
including Australia and New Zealand, since January 2009, having joined the
company a year earlier as director of finance and controlling for the
Left: Jeep president Mike Manley.
not known whether Mr Kett’s departure is related to the scandal involving
former FCA Australia chief Clyde Campbell, who is facing a legal action brought
against him by his former employer over the alleged misuse of more than $30
million of company funds.
Mr Campbell, who is due to submit his defence to the lawsuit tomorrow (July
24), reported directly to Mr Kett during his tenure as head of FCA Australia
from October 2010 to May 2013.
Before joining Chrysler in 2008, Mr Kett had built up extensive automotive
experience and a strong knowledge of Asian markets in roles such as
vice-president and chief financial officer of SsangYong Motors in South Korea
and, prior to that, CFO for General Motors China Group from 2001 to 2004.
Earlier in his career, Mr Kett was on a fast track through the ranks at GM,
working in a variety of positions in Asia and the Antipodes.
After seven years with Holden, from 1989 to 1996, he spent a year with GM China
before relocating to GM New Zealand as CFO. In 2000, he was appointed CFO and
chief informational officer of GM Indonesia, but moved back to Beijing the
following year to take on CFO role for GM China.
Born in Melbourne, Mr Kett was made a life member of the Richmond Football Club
– recipient of a major Jeep sponsorship deal from FCA Australia.
In announcing Mr Campbell’s appointment to FCA Australia in 2010, Mr Kett said
the company was pleased to have Mr Campbell lead the Australian team “given his
wealth of knowledge and decade of experience in the automotive industry”.
In 2013, Mr Campbell left to go into partnership with vehicle importer Neville
Crichton to distribute FCA vehicles in New Zealand. However, this was
terminated in May this year when the allegations against Mr Campbell surfaced.