AUBURN HILLS, MI — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has named auto industry veteran Simon Sproule its new CCO and head of North American communications.

Sproule assumes his new role on Feb. 3. He replaces Niel Golightly, who left FCA in December for Boeing, to become senior VP of communications following the retirement of predecessor Anne Toulouse.

Sproule's move is the latest step in his nearly three-decade long communications career in the auto industry.

He joins Fiat Chrysler after 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 comes 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, which will create the fourth largest auto manufacturer in the world. 

"Simon brings a wealth of automotive experience including a deep understanding of both mass market and luxury brands," said FCA CEO Mike Manley. "He is joining FCA at an unprecedented time as we embark on an electrified, connected and autonomous future for our brands and, at the same time, create a new entity as we work toward a merger with PSA."