Published: Wed, July 25, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Marchionne out of FCA and Ferrari due to ailing health

Marchionne out of FCA and Ferrari due to ailing health

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' top executive position is changing hands after almost a decade under the leadership of Sergio Marchionne. Marchionne was due to step down as CEO next year.

Fiat said the 66-year-old had suffered complications following surgery.

Marchionne's replacements are Elkann, and Louis Camilleri as CEO.

Shares in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have dropped 4 percent in the first trading since news that the Italian-American automaker's longtime CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has been replaced unexpectedly due to complications from surgery.

That's why Marchionne had been looking for a potential buyer for Fiat Chrysler for most of the last ten years. Derek Neilson will continue, in his role as the company's Interim CEO.

In his time at Ferrari, Marchionne ruffled feathers, both within the company and in F1.

New Fiat Chrysler (FCHA.MI) boss Mike Manley was handed extra responsibilities for the carmaker's European business on Monday when a fellow executive quit after being passed over for the top job, adding to the challenges Manley faces.

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He is credited with saving Chrysler in 2009 from bankruptcy and increasing the market value of Fiat from United States $7.5 billion to around USA $71.5 billion (combined market value of Fiat, Chrysler and Ferrari) in the 14 years that he served the company.

A Ferrari statement said the company had learned of Marchionne's condition "with deep sadness" and thanked him for "the extraordinary contribution he has made in recent years at the helm of Ferrari". While the board had given Manley all the powers of CEO "with immediate effect", the move will need to be approved by a meeting of shareholders. Both brands have formed the leading edge of FCA's North American strategy to move away from passenger auto production and focus on SUVs and trucks to meet market demand.

"We met at one of the darkest moments for our company and it was his intellect, perseverance and leadership that saved Fiat", President John Elkann wrote in a letter to employees.

The board of CNH on Saturday named Suzanne Heywood as chairwoman, tapping a managing director of the Fiat-founding Agnelli family's Exor investment holding company.

Elkann issued a statement saying he was "profoundly saddened" by news of Marchionne's health problems.

Manley's seat on the Board of Directors and his position as executive director is expected to be voted on at the next shareholder meeting. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that Marchionne had been absent from day-to-day activities at FCA for weeks.

Marchionne helped navigate FCA through bankruptcy during his 14-year tenure and turn the company's finances back from the brink of collapse.

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