Stellantis has hired Natalie Knight, an executive with a Dutch food retailer, as its CFO to succeed Richard Palmer, who helped orchestrate the 2021 transatlantic merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group.
Knight will become the top executive based out of the automaker’s U.S. headquarters in Michigan, with “extensive travel” to Europe and other regions, the company said Wednesday.
She most recently was CFO of Ahold Delhaize, which is headquartered in the Netherlands and owns grocery store chains Food Lion, Giant and Stop & Shop. Her career includes 17 years with athletic apparel retailer Adidas AG in the U.S. and Germany.
Knight will take over for Palmer by July 10. Stellantis said Palmer plans to leave June 30 to ensure a smooth handover after a 20-year career with the company and its predecessors.
Prior to joining Ahold Delhaize in early 2020, Knight was CFO at Arla Foods in Denmark. She also held investor relations roles at BASF and Bankgesellschaft Berlin. Knight holds degrees from the University of Arizona and Freie Universität in Berlin.
“I’m delighted to have Natalie join Stellantis. She has worked across several industries in both the U.S. and Europe,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement. “With her experience and demonstrated business transformation leadership … she is exactly the right leader to continue accelerating Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 strategy. I’m convinced that she will play a strategic role in setting the new impetus and unleashing the great potential of Stellantis’ value.”
Palmer, who holds a degree from the University of Warwick, started his career at PriceWaterhouse and later worked at United Technologies Corp. and General Electric Oil & Gas. Palmer joined Fiat Group in 2003 as CFO of robot maker Comau. He served as CFO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S. from 2009 to 2017, was CFO of Fiat Group from 2006 and Iveco from June 2005. He was appointed CFO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in 2011, and was named head of business development in 2018. In January 2021, Palmer was named CFO of Stellantis, when the merger closed.
He was named an Automotive News All Star in 2018.