Automaker Chrysler likely will get a new chief executive and board appointed by Italy's Fiat and the U. S. government if Chrysler and Fiat eventually form an alliance, Chrysler's current CEO Bob Nardelli told employees in a letter, a report says.

Nardelli said a new board will be appointed by the federal government and Fiat once a deal is completed. The majority of the directors will be independent, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing a letter obtained by Dow Jones Newswires.

"The majority of the directors will be independent (not employees of Chrysler or Fiat). The board will have the responsibility to appoint a chairman. The board also will select a CEO with Fiat's concurrence," Nardelli said in the letter, the newspaper reports.

Chrysler has received $4 billion of loans from the federal government. The U.S. automaker has to ink an alliance deal with Fiat by April 30 to get more government aid. Without further help, Chrysler likely would be auctioned off in pieces under bankruptcy court supervision.

Nardelli's comments clarify speculation on who will control Chrysler if a merger deal with Fiat is completed and what role Nardelli might play in that new company, the Journal reports.

Fiat's CEO Sergio Marchionne signaled earlier this week that he could serve as Chrysler's CEO if an alliance is formed between the two automakers. But he also said Fiat would walk away from the proposed tie-up unless Chrysler's unions agree to major cost cuts.

Nardelli was named CEO of Chrysler by private equity firm Cerberus Capital, which acquired Chrysler in 2007. Cerberus is expected to give up all or most of its equity in Chrysler under its reorganization, which opens the door for Fiat to name new management, the Journal notes.
Copyright 2008 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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