In today's board meeting, Katherine M. Hudson, president and CEO, Brady Corporation, was confirmed as chairman of the audit committee. Alfredo Diana and James L.C. Provan were re-elected to the audit committee, and will be joined by new board member, Michael E. Murphy.

The composition of the audit committee reflects the commitment of CNH to maintain the highest standard of transparency with respect to financial reporting, critical accounting practices and principles. Since Fiat's 1996 initial public offering of shares in predecessor company New Holland, the company has always maintained a majority of outside directors on the board and on the audit committee. From 1999, the company's audit committee has been composed only of outside directors.

Michael E. Murphy received his MBA from the Harvard Business School. He began his career with General Foods, before moving to Hanes Corporation and, subsequently, Ryder System, Inc., where he served as executive vice president & finance. When Hanes Corporation and Sara Lee Corporation merged in 1979, Murphy was named executive vice president and chief financial and administrative officer of Sara Lee Corporation. That same year he was elected to the board of directors and in 1993 he was elected vice chairman. Following his retirement in 1997, he served as president of the Sara Lee Foundation.

Gabriele Galateri di Genola earned his MBA from the Business School of Columbia University, and began his career in the financial analysis office of Banco di Roma, before moving to the St. Gobain Group as finance director for Italy. In 1977 he joined the Fiat Group, serving first as director of finance for the Americas and ultimately as the Group's treasurer. In 1993 he became the CEO and general manager of IFI, S.p.A. On June 27, 2002, he returned to Fiat as chief executive officer of the Group.

Alessandro Barberis joined the Fiat Group's foundry operations immediately after completing his degree in engineering. He moved rapidly through a series of increasingly important industrial positions before moving to Magneti Marelli as CEO in 1982. In 1993 he was named as Fiat Auto's executive vice president for industrial operations. In 1996 he left Fiat to become the chief operating officer of Istituto Bancario San Paolo. In 1997 he became chairman of Piaggio & C. S.p.A., leading that company through its turnaround and subsequent change of ownership. On June 27, 2002, he returned to the Fiat Group as its chief operating officer.