Fiat has appointed Sergio Cravero as chief executive officer of Alfa Romeo Automobiles, where he was head of marketing prior to today's announcement.

The appointment came as the group said it was also overhauling its management structure to create four company-wide functions, with responsibility for all markets.

Cravero, 48, joins Lorenzo Sistino - Fiat, Olivier François - Lancia, Lorenzo Sistino - Fiat Professional (light commercials) and Harald Wester, who will continue in his role as chief technical officer for Fiat Group and CEO of Maserati, as head of the company's brands.

Fiat also said four new group-wide functions were being created.
 
These include sales, which have been assigned to Lorenzo Sistino. He will be responsible for coordinating commercial activities for the Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands. This new function will have responsibility for all markets.

Brand marketing communication has been assigned to Olivier François, who will be responsible for coordinating above- and below-the-line communications for all brands.

Product portfolio planning and automotive institutional relations will be looked after by Daniele Chiari, who will be responsible for planning for passenger vehicles and powertrain.

Product concept, meanwhile, has been given to Sergio Cravero, who will be responsible for coordinating product development of individual models and determining product initiatives for the Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a statement: "The reorganisation announced today represents an important step for Fiat Group Automobiles which will equip it to face future market challenges in the most efficient and immediate manner. The changes we are experiencing in the automotive sector require that we adapt our organisational structure rapidly.

"We are establishing four new functions, which will have transversal responsibilities within the company while maintaining separate responsibility for each individual brand in order to protect and develop the specific identity and recognition of each brand in the market.

"This new structure will enable us to achieve greater synergies and improved integration of those activities which are common to the various brands.

"The reorganisation will also provide Fiat Group Automobiles with a much leaner and more flexible structure, increasing its ability to take advantage of new business opportunities and further reducing response times," he added.