Fiat-Chrysler appoints a female CEO
Fiat-Chrysler Australia has appointed the first Australian-born woman, Veronica Johns, to head a large car distributor locally as its chief executive.
Ms Johns, 42, who started at Chrysler in 1999, will be in charge of five brands: Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Dodge.
Women have previously been in charge of car brands in Australia - the first at Chrysler from 2000 to 2003 and more recently at Volkswagen - although all have been brought in from overseas.
Ms Johns said her gender had not held her back in the industry. "There is [additional pressure] when you start in it ... it certainly toughens you up a bit. When I first started in the region, I hit 10 days of motor shows and thought, 'Oh my god, how am I going to survive?'
"Dealers are great, they'll work with you and are very supportive but they are tough in the same instance, so it's been a great learning experience."
Outgoing chief executive Clyde Campbell recommended Ms Johns as his successor, but said there had been pressure from the US head office to appoint an American. "... sanity prevailed; they realised Veronica was the best person."