ORANGE COUNTY, CA — Simon Sproule, who spent nearly three decades in the automotive industry, has joined tech company Toptal as head of communications.

Formally titled VP of communications, Sproule started working for Toptal in June, following a four-month stint as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CCO and North American communications head. He also recently started working with electric vehicle startup Fisker as an advisor.

Sproule told PRovoke that Toptal, which operates a freelancing platform for software engineers, designers and business consultants, offered "an intellectual opportunity" at a particularly opportune time "given everything going on in the world" — including changes in the way people work. Toptal's platform serves a remote work force and bills itself as the world's largest virtual company.

He succeeds Jodi Brooks, who left Finn Partners for Toptal last September. Fiat Chrysler has not filled Sproule's global role; Corporate communications head Shawn Morgan has assumed responsibilities for North America communications.
 
The move is a notable change for Sproule, who has worked in automotive industry comms since 1992. Before joining Fiat Chrysler in February, he spent more than five years at luxury automaker Aston Martin Lagonda, whose marketing and communications he led as CMO and VP. In 2017, he added regional chairman duties for the automaker's Americas business to his responsibilities.

Sproule joined Aston Martin in 2014 from Tesla, after several years at Nissan, where he became one of the first executives to oversee an integrated PR and marketing function.

His move to Fiat Chrysler came on the brink of a major step in the evolution of FCA, which was created from Fiat’s acquisition of Chrysler after the American car manufacturer filed for bankruptcy in 2009. In December, FCA entered a binding agreement with PSA Peugeot to merge, a deal creating the fourth largest auto manufacturer in the world.