Fiat‘s sports car unit Ferrari on Tuesday confirmed that the former head of Ford Europe, Martin Leach, would become chief executive of its Maserati subsidiary as of June 1.


Reuters said Leach had been expected to take over as chief executive of Fiat Auto last year, but Ford blocked his move under a clause in his contract that prevented him moving to another carmaker – the clause has since been annulled.


Reuters noted that loss-making Maserati has been part of Fiat’s luxury Ferrari unit since 1997 and is now investing heavily in new models like the sleek Quattroporte to boost sales and pull back to profit.