Fiat Industrial announces new management structure

An employee polishes a Fiat logo in Dresden, Germany on Oct. 30, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, dapd - Joern Haufe

MILAN - Capital goods maker Fiat Industrial on Monday announced a new management structure aimed at making it easier to merge with its U.S. subsidiary CNH Global N.V., the agriculture equipment maker.

Fiat Industrial, which makes trucks, agriculture and construction equipment, said it has created a 20-seat Group Executive Council, which will be headed by Chairman Sergio Marchionne and CNH CEO Richard Tobin in the new position of group chief operating officer.

"The new organization announced today represents a key step in the integration of Fiat Industrial and CNH," Marchionne said in a statement.

The structure, which puts emphasis on brands, geography and industrial processes, is similar to a four-region management organization adopted at carmaker Fiat last year to drive integration between Italy's Fiat and the U.S. carmaker Chrysler, which it controls.

CNH advisers have rejected the original terms of the full merger proposed last spring, but Marchionne is working to save the deal. He told analysts recently that it would be more expensive, without elaborating.

Fiat Industrial owns 88 per cent of CNH, which is based in the Chicago suburb of Burr Ridge, Illinois, and sells farm and construction equipment under the Case and New Holland brands in 170 countries