Former president and chief operating officer of Ford of Europe Martin Leach could head Maserati by early May.

Former president and chief operating officer of Ford of Europe Martin Leach could head Maserati by early May.

Leach, who was cast out of Ford in August 2003, was the first choice as the new CEO of Fiat Auto. As he was unavailable at the time as Ford refused to release him from his two-year non-compete clause, the job went to Herbert Demel instead.

In January this year, a court ruled that Leach had been fired by Ford, making the non-compete clause unenforceable and releasing Leach to work for other automotive manufacturers.

Leach told : "The speculation is inevitable and continues. I have always said it's my intention to get back into the automotive business. I wouldn't like to put a specific date on it."